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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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Jonah Bokaer, dance, user feature,

Frozen Dance with @jonah_bokaer

Since introducing video, we’ve seen movement and sound bring dance to to new dimensions. From @lilbuckdalegend's improvisational jookin’ to the pirouettes of the @ballerinaproject_ to @palmyhk's break dancing, dancers have brought their choreography to life on Instagram. American dancer Jonah Bokaer (@jonah_bokaer), however, is flipping that expectation for movement on its head. He applies his background in animation and motion-capture techniques to his choreography and shares the resulting routines through a series of frozen moments.

"I first started using Instagram this year. It fascinated me that people change their content so quickly, so rapidly and with such diversity. I decided to turn the scale in the other direction: to tunnel deeper and deeper into the same image vocabulary and to create variations in the same image to call further attention to movement detail," he says. From those focused moments emerged a new series: "Then came the idea that, in fact, I was actually making a dance frame by frame."

To create these post-by-post Instagram performances, Jonah has a multi-step process: “I create the animations first, rehearse the performance, decide and finalize the visual scenery and then have a colleague do the photography.” Some of his performances have produced over 3,000 images! To experience your own personal performance of Jonah’s work, be sure to follow @jonah_bokaer.

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the week on instagram, twoi,

The Week on Instagram | 102

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Halloween, current events, Location Feature,

The 2013 Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

For more photos and videos from the event, check out the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze location page. Be sure to explore the #jackolantern hashtag in the coming week to see Halloween pumpkin carvings from around the world.

Set against the rolling mountains and winding waterways of the Hudson River Valley, the 2013 Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze has come to upstate New York, USA. The 25-night-long Halloween event features over 5,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins arranged into sea monsters, spider webs, dinosaurs and a particularly photogenic tunnel where visitors can gaze at the jack o’lanterns suspended above them.

Although only associated with Halloween as we know it today since the late 1800s, the tradition of gourd carving dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries in rural Ireland and England. People created jack o’lanterns for the old holidays of Samhain and All Souls’ Night when spirits were thought to be the most active. Grotesque faces carved into the objects were meant to frighten away any ghouls seeking to do harm.

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user feature, mimi thorisson, france, medoc,

Cooking in Médoc, France, with @mimithor

To view more photos and videos from Mimi follower @mimithor on Instagram

"My life also revolves around food and so does the account," explains Mimi Thorisson, a French food blogger living in Médoc, France, with her husband, six children and 14 dogs. Mimi took to Instagram two years ago and "instantly loved it." Like her blog, the account is a joint effort with her husband Oddur. Sometimes the two will craft a shot together, or, as Mimi explains, she’ll occasionally just take a picture of something that catches her eye.

Her photos often depict special family moments in the secluded region of Médoc, from harvesting grapes with her children to a forest dinner with friends.

"I love living here in the French countryside, and since it’s all relatively new to me I am amazed every day about something I see or experience. When you are amazed, you want to share. Médoc is a bit secluded from the rest of France, not picturesque in the same way as, say, Dordogne but to me is even more gorgeous with a different kind of austere beauty that I hope my account captures."

Of course, there’s also a lot of food with on-the-table images of Mimi’s explorations into French and Asian cuisine inspired by her childhood in Hong Kong and summers at her grandmother’s house in the south of France.

"I have always been obsessed with food, first Chinese as a small child and then as I grew a bit older, French food. Neither of my parents did much home-cooking, but I was fortunate enough to have a french grandmother and aunt who loved cooking and they taught me a lot."

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weekend hashtag project, whpemptyspaces,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPemptyspaces

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 photo announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

The goal this weekend is to take creative photos or videos documenting abandoned locations or otherwise busy places when they’re empty. Some tips to get you started:

  • Capturing a busy space when it’s completely empty requires patience. Take time to wait for people to leave and consider scoping out your location in advance to see when the space receives the least traffic.
  • Many areas—both rural and urban—have abandoned buildings. Look for reminders of what once occupied the space and details of how it has decayed. Be careful when exploring abandoned sites or ruins, though, as they can occasionally be dangerous.
  • If you’re feeling particularly festive as many countries prepare to celebrate Halloween next week, seek out haunted houses in your area and tell their stories visually.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPemptyspaces 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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Location Feature, geysir, iceland,

Erupting Hot Springs at Iceland’s Geysir

To view more photos and videos from Iceland’s Geysir, explore the Geysir and Strokkur location pages or browse the #geysir hashtag.

One hour’s drive east of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, deep into the dark lava fields of the Haukadalur valley, a surprising geothermal phenomenon draws visitors from across the world.

A grouping of geysers, erupting explosions of boiling water followed by plumes of white steam, make up the destination known as Geysir. The largest of the group, Iceland’s Great Geysir, was first documented in the 13th century but is currently inactive. Its neighboring geyser, Strokkur, still erupts every few minutes shooting jets of water up to 50 meters (164 feet) into the sky.

While there are a number of erupting geysers across the world, it’s Iceland’s Geysir, derived from the Icelandic “geysa" meaning "to gush," after which all others are named.

The sight of the geysers—along with the nearby mountains and hot springs—have proven especially attractive to local and traveling Instagrammers alike.

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artthursday, puppy, jeff koons,

#ArtThursday: “Puppy” by Jeff Koons

It’s #ArtThursday time! This week we’re taking a trip to the Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The museum of modern and contemporary art was designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry and is one of the most admired works of contemporary architecture.

If you to visit the Guggenheim in Bilbao, one of the pieces you’ll surely see is American artist Jeff Koons’s famous “Puppy.” The sculpture of a West Highland White Terrier stands 40 feet (12 meters) tall and is composed of 70,000 flowers, including marigolds, begonias, impatiens, petunias and lobelias. Its stainless steel framework holds over 25 tons of soil watered by an internal irrigation system. The original work was first exhibited in Germany in 1992 and later installed in Bilbao in 1997. To see more photos and videos of the sculpture and the Bilbao’s collection and exhibitions, visit the Museo Guggenheim location page.

A Look at Ads on Instagram

instagram news,

A few weeks ago, we shared our plans to introduce advertising on Instagram. Today, we want to provide a few more details about exactly what ads on Instagram will look like.

If you’re in the United States, you’ll see the sample ad above sometime in the coming week. This is a one-time ad from the Instagram team that’s meant to give you a sense for the look and feel of the ads you will see.

You’ll know a photo or video is an advertisement when you see the “Sponsored” label where the time stamp normally would be. Tap this label to learn more about how advertising works on Instagram.

We want ads to be creative and engaging, so we’re starting with just a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community. If you see an ad that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the “…” below it to hide it and provide feedback about what you didn’t like. This will help us show you more interesting ads in the future.

Our focus with every product we build is to make Instagram a place where people come to connect and be inspired. Building Instagram as a business will help us better serve the global—and ever growing—Instagram community, while maintaining the simplicity you know and love.

As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won’t change this. If you have other questions about how advertising on Instagram works, you can learn more here.

Thanks for listening and for being a part of the Instagram community.

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world series, mlb, current event,

2013 World Series on Instagram

Going to a World Series game? We’re excited to see more Instagrammers’ photos and videos from Fenway Park and Busch Stadium as the series unfolds. If you’re going to a game, be sure to add your photo to your photo map and tag your photos #worldseries.

The St. Louis Cardinals (@cardinals) and the Boston Red Sox (@redsox) meet tonight at Fenway Park for the first game of the World Series, the best-of-seven playoff series that will determine Major League Baseball’s 2013 Champion. The series remains in Boston tomorrow, then heads to St. Louis this weekend for games three and four. You can keep up with the action from this year’s Fall Classic by following the St. Louis Cardinals (@cardinals), Boston Red Sox (@redsox), MLB (@mlb) and players such as Carlos Beltran (@cbeltran3) and Shane Victorino (@shanevictorino).

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hashtag highlight, catchseries, dogs,

@BorderNerd’s Canine #CatchSeries

"I noticed that my dogs make the funniest faces when catching treats," says Aki (@bordernerd), who shares photos of her two retired search and rescue dogs on Instagram. “So I decided to photograph them catching different things … balls, kibbles, treats and such. Bubbles gave me the funniest pictures.”

Aki catalogs these striking and often humorous photos with the #catchseries hashtag. Since sharing her first #catchseries photo, hundreds of other dogs have joined the fun.

Interested in trying your hand at a #catchseries portrait with your pup? Aki offers these tips: “Take the pictures in daylight or in a well lit area to avoid blurry pictures. Learn the timing by tossing small treats. I usually press the shutter as I toss the item. There are no rules with #catchseries as long as you and the dog have good time!”

For more photos, browse the #catchseries hashtag and follow Aki, Jazzy and Cooper on Instagram: @bordernerd.