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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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current events, holocaust remembrance day, Location Feature,

Commemorating the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah (יום השואה)

To view more photos and videos from Yom HaShoah, browse the #YomHaShoah and #יוםהשואה hashtags and explore the Yad Vashem location page.

From sunset on Saturday to Sunday’s sundown, the Jewish community honors Yom HaShoah (יום השואה), a time to remember the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. In Israel, where Yom HaShoah is a national holiday, flags are lowered to half-mast and people across the country gather for memorial ceremonies held at schools and public squares. Though other countries also recognize Holocaust Remembrance Days of their own, many Jews around the world observe Yom HaShoah at home and at important historical sites. In Yad Vashem, the official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, speeches and prayers are given by the Israeli President, Prime Minister and chief rabbis as six torches are lit by Holocaust survivors to pay tribute to victims of the genocide. At 10:00AM local time on Sunday, sirens go off to mark a two-minute moment of silence observed by the nation.

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the week on instagram, twoi,

The Week on Instagram | 128

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User Feature, Japan,

Finding Patterns with @hagi_hara

To see more photos of patterns found in everyday life, follow @hagi_hara.

Osaka Instagrammer @hagi_hara began using Instagram nearly three years ago to shoot things in everyday life that caught his attention. He soon noticed that his photos had a similar aesthetic, capturing designs and patterns that came out of negligible places, such as a cover on a street gutter, a cross section of a cabbage and creases on a folded umbrella. “Even before I started Instagram, I originally had an interest in different types of patterns like repetition, symmetry and contrast,” he says. “I love browsing the #texture and #pattern hashtags, and I also started using them on my own photos.”

When @hagi_hara searches for designs, he looks for the smallest things that amuse him in the most mundane of places. “When I discover an interesting pattern, it makes me so happy that I want to share it with everyone,” he explains. One of his favorite types of patterns is repetition, which he captures from things like a stack of chopsticks, a bird’s feathers and a cover on a skylight. The images captured through @hagi_hara's phone can become confusingly beautiful. He adds, “When it is hard to figure out what the image is about, I like to write in a small hint of what it is in the caption.”

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current events, chernobyl, Location Feature,

Remembering Chernobyl (Чорнобиль)

To view more photos and videos from Pripyat, explore the Pripyat (Припять) and Chernobyl location pages, or browse the #pripyat and #chernobyl hashtags.

On this day 28 years ago, a catastrophic nuclear accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine resulted in a huge plume of radioactive contamination and the relocation of more than 350,000 people. The Chernobyl disaster is one of only two nuclear accidents classified as a level seven on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011).

Chernobyl and the nearby town of Pripyat remain in the same state today as they were in April, 1986. Bold tourists and many Instagrammers have visited the still heavily contaminated site, sticking to an official route after it opened to the public in 2010. Russian Instagrammer Roman Palchenkov (@palchenkov) recently visited the site: “Being there, in the silence, darkness, and cold, and standing in the empty room of regular house, I was able to understand what a catastrophic nuclear disaster means for people and cities.”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPappreciateEarth, earth day, nature,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPappreciateEarth

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.

In honor of Earth Day earlier this week, the goal this weekend is to go out and show your appreciation for our planet and document it through creative photos and videos. Some tips to get you started:

  • The best way to appreciate our planet is to help make it better. Find a volunteer opportunity, pick up fallen litter or even just spend some time fixing up your own garden and find a creative way to photograph it.
  • Share your favorite spot in nature with a video. Keep an eye and ear out for the details that make it special, whether it’s the wind rustling through the grass, a surging waterfall or the way fog moves through the trees.
  • Most importantly, have fun! As you explore, don’t forget to take some time to wander and enjoy the nature around you.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPappreciateEarth 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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current event, Anzac Day, australia, new zealand,

Remembering War Veterans on Anzac Day

To see more photos and videos from Anzac Day, browse the #anzacday and #anzac hashtags.

On Friday, communities throughout Australia and New Zealand observe Anzac Day, a day to honor and commemorate those who lost their lives during military conflicts and peacekeeping expeditions.

The holiday takes its name from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) and falls every year on April 25th, the anniversary of the first major Anzac conflict during the First World War. Troops took on the Ottoman Empire in an attempt to clear the way to the Black Sea for Allied navies, resulting in heavy casualties that had a profoundly sobering impact on the two nations.

Many mark the day by attending dawn memorial services and spending time with family veterans. Australians will occasionally play a cheeky game called two-up that was popular among soldiers during World War I. Many will also bake Anzac biscuits around this time, a tradition carried on from Australian and New Zealand families who sent these biscuits to soldiers fighting the war.

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art thursday, sculpture, bass museum, el anatsui,

Making Art out of Waste with El Anatsui

To see more photos and videos from El Anatsui’s sculptures, explore the Bass Museum of Art location page and browse the #elanatsui hashtag on Instagram.

Ghana sculptor El Anatsui finds inspiration in the waste caused by modern consumption. He creates colorful wall sculptures out of discarded aluminum bottle caps, seals and labels produced by local distilleries in Nigeria, where he’s lived for most of his career.

El Anatsui’s current exhibit, Gravity and Grace, features twelve monumental sculptures on show at Miami’s Bass Museum of Art (@bassmuseumofart).

Next, the exhibit will be installed in other institutions across the United States, each time with a unique approach: El Anatsui encourages those installing the pieces to influence them by squeezing, stretching or reshaping the sculptures to best fit the space and context.

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User Feature, ceará, brazil,

Capturing Moments in Rural Brazil with @suckeruser

For more photos and videos from Eduardo, follow @suckeruser on Instagram.

“Once when I was really little, I found my mother’s camera lying around. I grabbed it without her permission and went around taking photographs. When she found out she was pretty angry, especially because film was so expensive at the time. I remember begging her to let me reveal the film, since I was dying to see the photos I’d taken. I think that was the day I fell in love with photography as well as the possibility of capturing moments,” recalls Brazil Instagrammer Eduardo Pedro (@suckeruser).

16-year-old Eduardo is now in his first year of college studying law, though he says his true love is photography. Growing up in a rural part of of the northeastern state of Ceará contributed to his love of photography: “The simplicity and beauty of things here inspires me both in my life and in my photography.” When shooting, he often uses his friends as models. “My friends definitely suffer a bit with me behind the camera. I’m always telling them to jump, run and lie down. I guess they are more guinea pigs than models.”

Eduardo’s passion extends to both analog and mobile photography. He says, “I love shooting on my phone. I think mobile photography has allowed lots of people to develop their eye as photographers, reinforcing that what really matters is the creativity one uses rather than the equipment itself. It’s been wonderful to see photography evolve and people start to recognize its ability to eternalize moments. That is really beautiful.”

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spotlight, romania, Location Feature, User Feature,

Spotlight: Romania

Spotlight Since launching, we’ve seen Instagram spread from our headquarters in California to every corner of the globe. In this series we highlight Instagrammers from countries and cities with thriving communities.

"Every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horse-shoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool." — Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

With the Carpathian mountains arcing across its center and the river Danube running along its southern region, Romania is a country of vast and hilly peaks and luscious wetlands.

A history steeped in folklore, Romania’s rural and remote landscape served as the fictional home of Bram Stoker’s famous vampire, Count Dracula. With numerous hilltop castles such as Bran Castle, as well as the fairytale turrets of King Carol I’s Peleş Castle in Transylvania, it comes as little surprise that Romania has ignited the imagination of so many.

For a closer look at Romania’s haunting landscapes and bustling cities through the lenses of just a few of the many Instagrammers that live there, follow:

  • Lorant Pandea, Transylvania photographer – @lorantpandea
  • Oana Befort, graphic designer and illustrator in Bucharest – @oanabefort
  • Lavinia Cernău, photographer in Cluj-Napoca – @lavinia_cernau
  • Liviu Ratiu, photographer in Cluj-Napoca – @liviuratiu
  • Raluca Tămaș, journalist in Bucharest – @raltamas

For a closer look at Romania, explore the country through some of its most popular and picturesque destinations:

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hashtag highlight, babysuiting, mommyshorts,

Hashtag Highlight: @mommyshorts and the Art of #babysuiting

For more photos of tiny babies in big suits, browse the #babysuiting hashtag and follow @mommyshorts on Instagram.

"I love coming up with creative themes for baby photos and having my audience participate," says Ilana Wiles (@mommyshorts), a creative director and blogger from New York. Ilana sparked the #babymugging trend, in which people take photos of babies as if they’re sitting in mugs. Dogs were the next to get in on the fun with the popular #muttmuggin hashtag.

"Ever since the success of #babymugging, I’m always trying to come up with the next baby photo meme," explained Ilana. "When my nephew was born, I had the idea of photographing him in his dad’s suit. The photo was so funny to me, I decided to go around to friends with newborns and photograph them in their dad’s suits too."

When it came to giving the theme a name, Ilana polled her followers. “I went with #babysuiting,” she explains, “because it was a nice piggyback to #babymugging, and, in my experience, hashtags work best when they are very easy to decipher.”

Ilana offers this advice for those who’d like to give #babysuiting a shot: “Before you lie your baby down, set up the shirt in the suit jacket, with the tie around the collar. It’s much less likely to disturb your baby if you don’t have to move him that much once he is on the floor. Also, the bigger the suit, the funnier the picture!”