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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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Photography, science, landscape, nature, travel, new zealand, tasman glacier, glacier, Location Feature, Instagram,

Exploring New Zealand’s Haupapa/Tasman Glacier

For more photos and videos of the glacier, explore the Tasman Glacier and Tasman Glacier Trail location pages and browse the #TasmanGlacier hashtag.

Located between two of New Zealand’s highest peaks, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Rarakiroa/Mount Tasman, the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier is a huge river of ice that covers 101 square kilometers (39 square miles) and reaches 600 meters (2,000 feet) in depth. As the longest glacier found in the country, it extends 27 kilometers (17 miles) along the borders of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand’s South Island.

The area receives a massive amount of snow in the winter, which melts southward into Lake Tasman by summertime. As the ice melts on the surface of the glacier, piles of stones and rocks from within are left on the top, creating what appears to be a vast plain of rubble. Although the layer of debris drastically alters the glacial landscape, it actually helps preserve the ice beneath and slows down the glacier’s retreat—and the dynamic environment attracts many ambitious hikers and climbers all year round.

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Photography, travel, Photojournalism, documentary, chiara goia, india, Mongolia, user feature, Instagram, Italy,

At Home in Remote Places with Documentary Photographer @chiaragoia

To see photos from Chiara’s curious journey, follow @chiaragoia on Instagram.

“Where is home? This is the most difficult question you can ask me right now.”

Documentary photographer Chiara Goia (@chiaragoia) uses Instagram as a notebook of her journeys, adding entries from sites as varied as Mediterranean seas, frozen Mongolian lakes and holy sites in India. Ascetics, nomads, fellow travelers and family members alike appear in her stream of images from a life in motion.

Though she has come to feel like “less of a stranger in remote places” than in her native Italy, Chiara describes her path as a photographer as a dream come true. As she explains, “you have to succumb to your own curiosity and let it lead you.”

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photography, art, design, crafts, fiber art, Zoë Williams, wool, user feature, Instagram,

Spinning Creatures from Dreams into Felted Reality with @x03

To see more of Zoë’s needle-felted creations come to life, follow @x03 on Instagram.

“I have an extremely vivid dream life,” explains New York artist Zoë Williams (@x03), a New Orleans native who was uprooted by Hurricane Katrina. It was “during this strange rudderless period” following her displacement that a rabbit spirit came to her in a dream. “My first felt sculptures were all of that rabbit,” she says. As her dreams and artistic creations converged, Zoë has come to see her felted creatures, brought to life through Instagram, as “the expression of my unconscious.”

“At first, I made my creatures simply to honor the animals I dreamed about,” says Zoë of her felted creations. “But the dreams changed as my work evolved, and now I think they are one and the same.”

“Needle felting is a slow, laborious process,” explains Zoë. “It’s fun to give people a peek into the stages a piece goes through on its journey to completion.” The ability to cultivate a deeper appreciation for her work, however, is what Zoë values most. “Ultimately, I think artwork is best experienced in person, but it’s a special thrill to meet someone at an opening who follows my work on Instagram and has watched the pieces come to life.”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPicecream, ice cream, food, Art, Photography, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPicecream

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 #WHPicecream, which asked participants to take creative photos and videos featuring ice cream. 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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sand, sandart, sandcastle, lucinda wierenga, photography, user feature, instagram, art,

Masters of the Sand

For more jaw-dropping sand sculpting, follow @sandyfeet. To see more photos and videos of creativity in the sand at all skill-levels, browse the #sandart hashtag.

“Sand artistry takes a long-handled shovel, a soft touch and skin that can stand up to the sun,” says Lucinda Wierenga (@sandyfeet). She would know: The Texas Instagrammer has spent the past 30 years making sandcastles for a living.

Lucinda is part of a community of artists who participate in master-level sand sculpting competitions. They travel to beaches across the United States—and sometimes, around the world—for multiday building events. Recently, Lucinda spent six weeks in Kuwait where she and 70 peers collaborated on a massive installation.

“A sand sculpture’s temporary nature is a large part of its charm,” she says, “and only world-class jerks kick down other people’s sandcastles.”

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Photography, Fashion, Crafts, Hair, Kids, User Feature, Instagram, current events, twins, braidideas, hair art,

Twinning Hair Art with @jehat

To see more photos of Jill Ehat’s creative hair braiding, follow @jehat on Instagram.

“I’m totally obsessed with fauxhawks right now,” says Jill Ehat (@jehat), who is the mother of twin six-year-old girls. “My favorite top five styles are fauxhawk braids, bun hawks, buns, pancaked Dutch braids and rope twists. I’m especially good at tighter braids and active styles because my girls have something nearly every day like dance, swim, tumbling or soccer.”

If there’s a way to braid hair, Jill Ehat probably knows how to do it. She started at an early age doing hair for her two sisters and then friends in high school and college. Now it’s a big part of her life raising her daughters. “They love doing hair, too—they will braid, twist and put in ponytails on anyone that will let them!” Jill says.

The girls even like to “twin” with other girls on Instagram. As Jill explains, “‘twinning’ is when you and another hair account wear the same hair on the same day. We try to post at near the same time, which gets tricky when they’re around the world. My girls like to look on a map & see where their hair twins live: Sweden, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, etc. I think it’s especially fun to twin with actual twins!”

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photography, news, TWOI, the week on instagram, Instagram,

The Week on Instagram | 142

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music, Black and White, Lollapalooza, lolla, shy girls, dan vidmar, akila fields, Photography, Instagram, user feature,

Projecting Quiet Noise with @shygirlsmusic

For more wistful photos on the road, follow @shygirlsmusic. To see more from Lollapalooza as the festival unfolds, follow @lollapalooza and browse the #lolla hashtag.

The R&B band Shy Girls (@shygirlsmusic) takes photos to match their music—soft and soulful with the occasional playful punch.

“We try to convey a sense of place and scenes from our travels,” says keyboardist Akila Fields (@sleepyvillain), who runs the band’s Instagram account. Though Shy Girls is fronted by singer-songwriter Dan Vidmar, Dan relies on Akila’s creative eye to capture important feelings and moments from their tour.

The entire feed is in black and white, which Akila prefers because of its simplicity. “It’s something we’ve been playing with from the beginning, even in our music videos,” he says of the Portland-based band, who released their first EP last year. “There is an intimacy and a quiet energy to our music that I hope translates to the photography.”

Shy Girls are also first-time performers at Chicago’s Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) music festival this weekend, where Akila hopes to roam the event in search of interesting shots.

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Photography, Instagram, flowers, flower portraits, portraits, crafts, User Feature, Cansu Tüzan, Turkey, color,

Facing the Foliage with @cnstzn

For more flower portraits, browse the #facethefoliage hashtag and follow @justinablakeney and @cnstzn on Instagram.

Inspired by Justina Blakeney’s (@justinablakeney) #facethefoliage hashtag, Turkey Instagrammer Cansu Tüzan (@cnstzn) started to bring her portraits to life. Using everyday objects including flowers, seashells, metal scraps and jewelry, the student living in Gelibolu, Çanakkale, arranges objects on her desk before creating a character. “When I travel or walk anywhere, I am trying to look for all the details. I am always looking very carefully at everything as all the dried branches, flowers and leaves help me to create new characters.”

Cansu explains how she puts together each photo. “I try to shape hair and eyes, then I realize that the portrait is starting to look at me,” she says. “After I design the portrait, I wonder where it lives or whether the face belongs to a real person. Some of my followers claim my portraits look like their friends or relatives. This feeling makes me happy, as I am dreamer and I love showing my dreams through my works.”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPicecream, ice cream, food, photography, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPicecream

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.

The goal this weekend is to take creative photos and videos featuring ice cream. Some tips to get you started:

  • For a gourmet look, artfully arrange your ice cream and find a spot with soft window light to stage your photo. Remember to work quickly or in a cold environment to get the shot before it melts.
  • Think about the simple joy ice cream can bring. Surprise someone with a scoop, start snapping portraits and don’t be afraid to get messy (especially with children).
  • Finally, try to think outside the cone. Experiment with unlikely uses of ice cream and what you can do with it both before and after it melts.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPicecream 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!