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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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weekend hashtag project, WHPGameOn, world cup, futbol, soccer, world cup 2014,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPGameOn

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This week marks the beginning of the 2014 World Cup! To celebrate, the goal this weekend is to cheer on your country with creative photos and videos showing how you’re getting involved. Some tips to get you started:

  • Think about how you’re supporting your country’s team from home and get creative! Consider snapping a portrait with a mask or face paint, photographing your collection of team memorabilia or capturing the excitement of your friends and family watching the matches.
  • Are you an athlete yourself? Break out video and show some of your best moves. You can even try experimenting with slow-motion to make your kicks even more epic.
  • Finally, if you’re lucky enough to be on the ground at the World Cup in Brazil, seek out and capture unique perspectives and unexpected details from the stadium to the streets.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPGameOn hashtag to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own photographs and videos to the project. Any image or video taken then tagged over the weekend is eligible to be featured right here Monday morning!

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Black and White, photography, music, bonnaroo, Summer Music Festivals, ryan mastro, Instagram,

How I Shoot: Capturing Concerts with @ryan_mastro

For each How I Shoot, we ask an Instagrammer to tell us about their creative process. For more of Ryan’s behind-the-scenes perspective on music, follow @ryan_mastro on Instagram.

This year the Connecticut photographer Ryan Mastro (@ryan_mastro) will shoot Bonnaroo (@Bonnaroo) for the ninth time. “It’s become a summer tradition,” he says. “I get to document artists who are doing what they love and be surrounded by more than 80,000 like-minded people.”

Music has always been a big part of Ryan’s life. “I started shooting shows as a student in Montana,” he says. “I’m interested in capturing the energy and emotion of a band as well as the lighting and other visuals they’ve chosen to present with their music.”

Here are Ryan’s tips for capturing the perfect picture of a performance:

Camera

"I use an iPhone 5s but still shoot mostly film and every year I like to try something new."

Vantage Point

"Behind the drum kit is the place to be. I also fly in a helicopter for some aerial photos, which is quite a view! If you’re shooting from the crowd, focus on the atmosphere rather than the bands. At Bonnaroo there’s a lot of off-stage visual stimulation.”

Shooting

"I’m a Libra so I like balance. I’m comfortable shooting high-energy performances, but I also like to set up the tripod at night for some long-exposure, landscape-type work."

Editing

"For mobile, I use Hipstamatic. For film, all of what I do is ‘in-camera’ so there is not much to do in Photoshop.”

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xu bing, art, Architecture, cathedral, phoenix, sculpture, photography, Instagram, Art Thursday,

Xu Bing’s Phoenix at St. John the Divine

To see more photos from Xu Bing’s Phoenix at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, explore the St. John the Divine location page and browse the #xubing hashtag.

For the duration of 2014, the artist Xu Bing’s Phoenix—a pair of majestic, glittering sculptures made of refuse and debris—can be viewed at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. “My Phoenix uses the lowliest materials of labor to adorn itself with beauty and self-respect,” Xu says.

Before coming to St. John the Divine, the work has been displayed in venues such as the Today Art Museum in Beijing and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (@massmoca). Soaring amongst the carved wood and stained glass of the cathedral, the sculptures take on a sacred quality. “It creates a unique visual and spiritual landscape for the public,” Xu says, “a landscape that I believe is capable of transporting us to an entirely new place. The splendor that underlies the phoenixes and the splendor that underlies the cathedral shine off of one another, creating a space of massive tension that moves every one of us.”

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Instagram, User Feature, world cup, brazil, soccer, rio de janeiro,

Capturing the Beautiful Game with @culafernandes

For more photos from Ana Carolina, follow @culafernandes on Instagram.

"I was 13 years old the first time I set foot in Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro’s soccer stadium,” Ana Carolina (@culafernandes), a Rio de Janeiro photojournalist, says. “I will never forget the overwhelming magical energy that hit me there. It’s precisely that feeling that has brought me back to the stadium hundreds of times.”

Ana Carolina grew up in a soccer-obsessed home. “I think it would be odd of me not to love soccer,” she says. “My first memory is watching the 1970 World Cup when I was seven. I also remember tagging along to my father’s pick-up games or playing soccer with my brothers in our hallway.” Ana Carolina’s photos featuring a soccer ball and the ocean began with an accident. “I saw a boy playing soccer on the edge of the water and without thinking twice, I put the waterproof cover on my phone and went in the water to shoot,” she says. “The water is never calm on that beach—it’s extremely difficult to take photos and swim at the same time, especially without flippers on. I got hit by a lot of waves, but when I saw the result, I celebrated just as I would a soccer goal.”

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photography, documentary, photojournalism, User Feature, Instagram,

Exploring the World through the Different Photographers of @burndiary

To see more photo essays each week from contributing photographers around the world, follow @burndiary on Instagram and visit the Burn Magazine website.

When the curators of Burn Magazine, an online journal for emerging photographers, decided to start @burndiary in July 2013, they opted for a single strategy: to have a new photographer take over each week and publish a photographic diary of life around them.

“The beauty of @burndiary is that it’s a real essay in real time,” says Burn Magazine founder and photographer David Alan Harvey (@davidalanharvey). “You’re seeing it raw. People who can produce great images on a day-to-day basis on demand like this are very rare, but we get people in on the process.”

Mentoring photographers has been at the center of Harvey’s career as an assignment photographer, instructor and member of the Magnum Photos (@magnumphotos) agency. “I’ve always thought elevating the craft was a good thing,” says David. “Anyone who knows me knows I always share my secrets. On Burn, people can be part of a community and learn something useful to them. We’re all about photo education. What we’re doing on Instagram is all part of that.”

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instameet, instameet roundup,

InstaMeet Roundup | 14

Did you participate in an InstaMeet recently? We want to hear about it! Tell us more here.

Since the earliest days of Instagram, people have been meeting up offline and forming real-life friendships. Over the past few weeks, Instagrammers from all around the world—places as diverse as Indonesia, Mongolia, Spain, Korea and Italy—have come together to connect and inspire one another. Atop Indonesia’s Mount Dieng Volcano, 27 local Instagrammers welcomed five traveling Malaysian Instagrammers (#117kmtodieng), and in Northern India, 8 Instagrammers from around the world are meeting up for a two-week traveling InstaMeet (#ig_ladakh14).

To see photos and videos of people meeting up all across the globe, browse the hashtags from these InstaMeets:

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Architecture, roofline_envelope, geof newsum, hashtag highlight, User Feature, Instagram,

Flipping Perspectives with @slowjam98 and #roofline_envelope

For more from Geof’s creative series, browse the #roofline_envelope hashtag and follow @slowjam98 on Instagram.

Phoenix, Arizona, Instagrammer Geof Newsum (@slowjam98) first downloaded Instagram to follow his wife, Ayanah (@ayanah), but after the two attended a local InstaMeet, Geof was inspired by the community to tap more deeply into his creative interests.

While on a lunch break one day, Geof snapped a photo of the roof of a nearby building. “After flipping the photo, it struck me that it looked like an envelope,” he explains. With that, the #roofline_envelope hashtag was born. “I came up with the tag and got stuck on the idea, posting two more that week. I’m now at 41 and counting.”

Since starting the series, Geof has watched it spread throughout the community and continue to pick up steam. As for where he wants to take it next, he says, “I’ve been wanting to create a special series based on endangered historic homes in Phoenix. I love the stories found in local architecture.”

Want to try out taking a #roofline_envelope of your own? Geof has some tips to share:

"Start with a gable wall—a flat wall under a pitched roof. Make sure there aren’t any wires or branches breaking the line of the roof. Take a second to position yourself dead center. When composing the shot, get linear elements from the roofline to perfectly meet the corners of the image." From there, rotate the image 180º and you’re ready to go!

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nature, new zealand, Location Feature, Instagram, landscape, waiotapu,

Exploring New Zealand’s Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland

To see more photos and videos from the reserve, browse the #waiotapu hashtag and explore the Waiotapu Thermal Springs Wonderland location page.

On New Zealand’s North Island, an active geothermic reserve houses hot springs of multiple colors and extraordinary volcanic formations. The reserve’s name, Wai-O-Tapu, or “sacred waters,” comes from the indigenous Māori language and alludes to the area’s unique geologic offerings. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is a tourist center within the reserve that provides visitors with a taste of the distinctive geologic attractions. Some of the popular landmarks include colorful pools of water created from mixtures of minerals and bubbling carbon dioxide, erupting mud pools and a geyser that shoots out boiling water every morning. The conservation area was formerly the largest mud volcano in the country until its crown eroded in the early 90s, leaving the steaming springs and fizzling silts that continue to attract local and visiting Instagrammers alike.

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food, education, landscape, user feature, Uganda, coffee, travel, instagram,

Scenes from Small-Town Uganda with @sarahgenelle

For a look at everyday life on a coffee farm in Western Uganda, follow @sarahgenelle.

Living and working on a coffee farm nestled in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda is just the latest stop in the nomadic life of Sarah Castagnola (@sarahgenelle).

Sarah’s parents taught at international schools, which meant relocating the family to a different country every few years. “When I moved to Oregon for university I was exited to put down roots,” she explains. “However, it was only a matter of time before I yearned to travel again.”

Sarah’s studies and work in micro-finance have taken her across the globe, and, in April of 2013, she accepted a Peace Corps assignment in the small Ugandan village of Kyarumba. Living and working in Uganda often means it’s easier to share a photo on Instagram than it is to find running water or electricity. “This is the paradox of living in a developing country,” Sarah says. “Cellphones are ubiquitous, however women and children spend hours each day fetching water.”

Sarah, who plans to continue traveling after the Peace Corps, hopes her photos educate and inspire: “Opportunities happen when you take risks and follow your passion.”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPthriftshop, thrift shop, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPthriftshop

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s tag was #WHPthriftshop, which asked participants to take creative photos inspired by their finds in thrift stores and flea markets. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.