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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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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.

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art, user feature, benedetto demaio, blue, hands, paint,

Hand in Hand with @benedettodemaio

For more from Benedetto’s hand series and studies in blue, follow @benedettodemaio on Instagram.

"I define myself first and foremost as a draftsman," states Milan art teacher and Instagrammer Benedetto Demaio (@benedettodemaio). “Drawing is my biggest passion. It’s what identifies me, what makes me alive—my oxygen.”

Benedetto’s photos are often marked by two themes that he holds very dear: his hands and a striking shade of turquoise blue.

As he explains, hands are precious symbols of crafting and making. “They interpret my daily life, express feelings and emotions and draw my thoughts in simple gestures. They move into a luminous non-space, play with objects around me, caressing colors. They live. I entrust them to my senses, all through them I explore my reality, I experience new visual languages and free my creativity. I use my hands to tell my story. They speak about me and for me.”

The turquoise, however, has its roots in his upbringing. He explains, “I live in Milan, but I was born in a village in southern Italy overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The colors of the place where I grew up—the gradients of the rough sea, the shades of the sea bottom, the turquoise that characterizes my work—is an evocation of my origins, the feeling of belonging to a wonderful land, a place that formed me, my home. Inserting a touch of that tone in my work reassures me.”

Though he doesn’t consider himself a photographer, his love of the medium drew him into the Instagram community. “I like this virtual environment where we can draw inspiration and nurture creativity,” he shares. “Most of all, I like the simple way in which we interact with others with whom you share a common passion for photography.”

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the week on instagram, instagram news, news, photography,

The Week on Instagram | 134

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#WhoIFollow: Mongolia’s @bolorchirs

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from Bolor and some of his favorite Instagrammers, follow @bolorchris, @mr007, @jasonmpeterson, @littlecoal and @tim.kau on Instagram.

"I personally prefer to take minimal photography," says Mongolian Instagrammer Bolor Batkhuyag (@bolorchris), “because I can’t include everything in my photos and I feel that minimal is the most appropriate way to capture the uniqueness of things.”

Through his photos on Instagram, Bolor likes to explore his home city of Ulaanbaatar as well as the surrounding mountains to capture moments and scenes that “express the meaning and responsibility of a man.” To visualize this theme, he often turns to his local Instagram community and goes out shooting as a group where they serve as models for one another. “I like to capture the man appearing small with the surrounding environment taking up the majority of the photo,” he explains.

A great part of Bolor’s creative inspiration comes from other Instagrammers who also share remarkable minimal shots as well as photos in black and white. To tune into some of Bolor’s favorite people on Instagram, follow these great accounts:

  • @mr007 - “I found him when I first started Instagram, and he first inspired me to share black and white photos. His editing technique and color balance is amazing.”
  • Jason Peterson (@jasonmpeterson) – “His black and white photos have great angles. The contrast and simple captures are especially stunning.”
  • Eric Ward (@littlecoal) - “The colors he creates are awesome, and his perspectives provide a different view of minimalism.”
  • Tim Kau (@tim.kau) - “He has an amazing feed with bikes, and I learn a lot from them.”