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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.

Photoset

photography, news, colorado, photojournalism, animals, User Feature, instagram, matt slaby, salman rushdie, luceo,

Signposts of Culture on an Unconventional Road with @mattslaby

To see more from photojournalist Matt Slaby’s test kitchen of photographic experiments, follow @mattslaby on Instagram.

Matt Slaby (@mattslaby) is a 6-foot-7 colorblind photographer based in Denver who was once told by Salman Rushdie that he was “too tall.” His Instagram photos are populated by spacemen, abandoned nuclear missile silos and fictional stories written for found snapshots.

"The signposts of culture are really set by the outliers and the weirdos," Matt says. He describes Instagram as his "test kitchen" for experimenting, receiving feedback and understanding “how subjects view their own world and what items they are tuned into."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Matt traveled an “unconventional road into the creative world,” working his way through university and law school as a wilderness firefighter and an metropolitan EMT before taking on photography full time—just a month after passing his law exams.

"I love how things take on apparent order when you view them from a macro or micro perspective," he says. "It’s the middle distance that’s confusing, chaotic and kinda absurd."

Photoset

photography, animals, landscape, ranch, Colorado, sheep, lamb, horse, howishoot, Instagram,

How I Shoot: Capturing the Colors and Characters of the American West with @iamstephensmith

For each How I Shoot, we ask an Instagrammer to tell us about their creative process. For more of Stephen’s photos and videos from life on a ranch in the American West, follow @iamstephensmith on Instagram.

For Stephen Smith (@iamstephensmith), documenting life on a ranch in Colorado requires a shift in perspective. “I try to imagine what the world looks like from the height of a baby lamb or way up high on my draft horse, Brutus,” he says. “My work is inspired by the contrast and connection between expansive, humbling spaces and the objects and creatures that inhabit those spaces.”

Here are Stephen’s tips for vividly capturing the colors and characters on a ranch in the American West:

Camera

iPhone 5S

Vantage Point

"At eye-level with the subject to create an intimate connection. If you are shooting an animal, for example, and it is shorter than you, it might be difficult to keep the horizon line in the photo. Drop down a bit, enhance the presence of that shorter creature and keep that horizon line in the frame so that the image has depth."

Shooting

"I try to shoot just after sunrise while we are doing chores or just before dark. The sun in Colorado is very strong and a midday shot can wash out images shot with an iPhone."

Editing

"I use VSCO Cam or Afterlight, and Instagram’s new creative editing tools are convenient. I just tried them out with my latest post.”

Photos: Colorado Forest Fire

colorado, current events, forest fire,

Want to see more? For more photos from Colorado’s forest fire, search the tags #forestfire and #highparkfire.

Forest firefighters from Wyoming and Canada have been diverted to battle a devastating blaze that’s consumed 60 square miles of drought-ravaged Colorado.

600 firefighters are currently working to control the blaze, which is raging about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, and has yet to be contained.