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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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instameet, instameet roundup,

InstaMeet Roundup | 9

Are you participating in an InstaMeet soon? Let us know by sending us a note through Tumblr.

Over the past several weeks, Instagrammers around the world gathered together to take photos and videos and share them on Instagram, including the first ever White House InstaMeet (@WhiteHouse) in Washington, DC. While over in Kenya, the finale InstaWalk to round off the #Kenya365 project took place (browse the #Kenya365Reli). To see what it’s like to attend an InstaMeet, browse the photos and videos for each meet’s hashtag page:

Want to host your own InstaMeet or photowalk? Be sure to check out our blog post with tips on how to organize and throw a great event.

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nba, basketball, current event, User Feature,

The NBA Tip-Off 2013 on Instagram

Tonight, the National Basketball Association’s (@nba) 68th season tips off with three games. In the first match up, the Indiana Pacers (@thepacers) face the Orlando Magic (@magicnba). Then, the defending champions Miami Heat (@miamiheat) take on the Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls). The final game pits the Los Angeles Clippers (@laclippers) against their in-town rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers (@lakers).

To tune in to photos and videos from players in tonight’s games, be sure to follow them on Instagram:

  • LeBron James, Miami Heat Forward — @kingjames
  • Chris Paul, LA Clippers Point Guard — @cp3
  • Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers Shooting Guard — @kobebryant
  • Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls Small Forward — @luoldeng9
  • Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat Guard — @dwyanewade
  • Paul George, Indiana Pacers Small Forward — @paul_george24

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wingsuit, user feature,

Soaring the Skies with Wingsuits on Instagram

For a group of brave souls who’ve dreamt of soaring through the air, wingsuits have turned that dream into a reality. Wingsuit flying uses a special jumpsuit—called a birdman suit, flying squirrel suit or bat suit—that has fabric stretched between the legs and under the arms to create lift, allowing the wearer to fly.

The first known wingsuit was used by Rex G. Finney, a 19-year-old from Los Angeles, California, in 1930. Early wingsuits were made of materials such as canvas, wood, silk, steel and even whale bone, and were not very reliable. In 1999, the first commercial wingsuit was made available to the general public and the sport took off. A number of enthusiasts have taken to Instagram to share photos and videos from their flights. Want to go along for the ride? Follow these flyers on Instagram:

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Location Feature, kawah ijen, indonesia,

Sulfur Mining at Indonesia’s Ijen Crater Lake

To view more photos and videos from the Ijen sulfur lake, visit the Kawah Ijen location page.

High up in the East Java region of Indonesia, the Ijen volcano is a site of both magnificent beauty and treacherous working conditions.

Stretching across a width of 1km (3,280ft), a bright turquoise lake draws traveling Instagrammers from across the world to capture its splendor in the rising sun. Though beautiful, the lake contains some of the most acidic water on the globe as a result of sulfur present in the volcanic gas.

Local organizations have taken advantage of the sulfur and developed a laborious mining operation to fuel other industries on the island. After channeling through a series of pipes, the condensed gasses pour out into pools of bright yellow molten sulfur.

Mine workers break apart the cooled sulfur by hand and then carry the 70-90kg (165-200lb) baskets up the steep crater rim before embarking on a 3km (1.86mi) hike to their destination in the Pultuding valley. The approximately 200 laborers often make this trip multiple times per day for very slight earnings.

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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 post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s tag was #WHPemptyspaces, which asked participants to take creative photos or videos documenting empty or abandoned places. 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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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!