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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, cartoon, lion king, despicable me, france, User Feature, Photography,

Cartoon Characters Brought to Life with @francoisdourlen

For more childlike plays on the world around him, follow @francoisdourlen on Instagram.

“It’s not a question of the camera lens, just a question of the moment, imagination and expression,” says Instagrammer François Dourlen (@francoisdourlen), a teacher from Normandy, France. Inspired by the daily scenes around him, François is reminded of characters from popular culture and animation films. “I don’t really choose photos to put with the background,” he explains. “The background makes me think about pictures I’ve seen.”

His playful style inserts cartoon characters on real life backgrounds to delight his followers—and himself. He adds: “My message to the world is: ‘Do not forget to look at the world through a child’s eyes.’”

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Art Thursday, lee ufan, Versailles, art, france, Instagram,

Exploring the Contemporary Contrasts of Lee Ufan’s Work at Versailles

For more from Lee Ufan’s works at Versailles, browse the #leeufan hashtag and explore the Jardins du Château de Versailles location page.

Last week, South Korean artist Lee Ufan unveiled a series of 10 commissioned works on the grounds of the Chateau de Versailles outside of Paris, France.

Ufan’s pieces take shape as large-scale sculptures and installations. Simple structures such as immersive rock gardens and the exhibition’s iconic polished-concrete arch stand in stark contrast to the decadent landscape of the Chateau grounds. The striking differences between the historical grounds and the exhibition works lead visitors to discover the dialogue and harmonies that can exist between objects that—at first—seem wholly dissimilar.

Ufan’s works will be on view at Chateau de Versailles until early November 2014.

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User Feature, Architecture, south of france, chateau de gudanes, french architecture, france,

Bringing the Stately @cheateaugudanes Back to Life

For more photos and videos from the restoration of the chateau as it progresses, follow @chateaugudanes on Instagram.

When Australian couple Karina and Craig Waters began the search for a French cottage, they had little idea of the adventure they would ultimately find: restoring the regal Chateau de Gudanes (@chateaugudanes).

As they embarked on their venture in French real estate, the options they turned up were disheartening—so much so that they nearly abandoned the dream. After their son stumbled upon an online listing for a large abandoned chateau in the Pyrénées, however, they ventured back to France.

"We had no idea where the Pyrénées were geographically," Karina explains. "We drove from Paris to Toulouse then headed towards the Midi-Pyrénées. By the time we drove past fields of sunflowers, towards snow capped mountains linking earth to heaven and then entered the little village and saw the chateau tucked gently in a glorious valley, we were speechless. We made an offer a couple of days later."

At long last, they had found Chateau de Gudanes, a stately home and grounds that dated back to the 13th century before being reconstructed by famed French architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel as a lavish home for the Marquis Louis Gaspard de Sales.

The dilapidated chateau required substantial work after years of disuse—an undertaking Karina and her family have embraced wholeheartedly. With nearly 100 rooms including a central chapel and a newly discovered underground chamber beneath the basement, the challenges of structural renovation form a constant process around which Karina has developed an eager community on Instagram. “I make a coffee, post a photo and then hours later from the other side of the world, I receive a comment from someone saying, ‘This is the best part of my day, making a coffee and seeing what the photo is for today.’ I love being here onsite, sharing what I love, experiencing it and knowing that someone else feels the same way.”

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Location Feature, Aiguille du Midi, France, Alps,

Looking Down on the World from Mont Blanc’s Aiguille du Midi

To see more photos and videos from atop the French Alps, visit the Aiguille du Midi location page.

In the Mont Blanc region of the French Alps sits a skyward-reaching peak called the Aiguille du Midi. The peak’s name translates as “Needle of Noon" because, when viewed from the French town of Chamonix, it acts as a natural sundial.

Adventure seekers can easily ascend the precipitous mountain thanks to the Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi, a cable car built in 1955 that makes a 9,209ft (2,807m) climb to the peak. Until recently, the Aiguille summit was home to a viewing platform, café and gift shop. In December 2013, however, a glass box called “Step Into the Void” opened to the public, offering thrill-seekers the opportunity to step out above a drop of 3,395ft (1,035m).

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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."