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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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Architecture, landscape, portrait, local lens, singapore, user feature, photography, instagram,

Local Lens: Venturing off the Beaten Path in Singapore with @m_herwin

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. To find refuge from Singapore’s busy city life, follow @m_herwin on Instagram.

"There is more to Singapore than those big, tall buildings that you see in travel pamphlets," says local Instagrammer Herwin van Johari (@m_herwin), who seeks out the quiet sanctuaries nestled in one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

For visiting nature enthusiasts, Herwin suggests a visit to the Southern Ridges, a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) trail that connects five of the city’s public parks. “The trail offers many vantage points that give you an amazing view of the city from some of the highest points in Singapore.” Other lush, photogenic escapes favored by Herwin include the Singapore Botanic Garden and MacRitchie Reservoir.

"If you are adventurous enough to explore further from the main island," says Herwin, "take a short boat trip to Pulau Ubin. Singapore is preserved in its rustic form here, and it’s a complete break away from the modern city.”

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Local Lens, User Feature, Istanbul, Turkey,

Local Lens: Pretending to be a Tourist in Istanbul with @umitko

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. For a fresh perspective on Istanbul’s most iconic places, follow @umitko.

"The city is full of surprises," says Umit Savas (@umitko), who’s called Istanbul home for the past 12 years. “Even if you’ve been to the same location many times before, there is always something new to explore.”

When going out to shoot, Umit always tries to view her city with fresh eyes. “I am inspired by the spirit of being tourist,” she explains. “Some of my favorite spots include the breathtaking inner yard of the Blue Mosque, around the Obelisk of Theodosius in Sultanahmet square, Sirkeci Train Station and Dolmabahce Palace in Besiktas.”

Umit suggests taking a ferry out onto the Bosphorus for spectacular shots of the city skyline. “Seagulls accompany the journey while passing the Bosphorus Bridge, Historical Peninsula and Maiden Tower. When you get close to the Asian side, the Haydarpaşa Garı train station welcomes you in all its glory.”

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Local Lens, Istanbul, Turkey, Location Feature, User Feature,

Local Lens: Capturing Istanbul’s Colorful Streets and History with @sezgiolgac

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. For more vivid moments from Istanbul, follow @sezgiolgac.

"I owe a lot to the inspiring streets of Istanbul,” says jazz singer and writer Sezgi Olgaç (@sezgiolgac), who has called Turkey’s largest city her home for the last 17 years. “Living in such a multi-layered city fills my soul with the passion and the creative spirits I need every day.”

Rich with Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history, the ancient and photogenic city straddles the mighty Bosphorus straight, meaning half of Istanbul stands in Europe and the other half in Asia.

Karaköy is where you can take a walk by the Golden Horn, gazing at the iconic silhouettes of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and New Mosque,” says Sezgi. “Walking across the Galata Bridge is sheer joy for an Instagrammer with its fishermen, ferries and seagulls.” On the other side of the straight sits Kadıköy, “which offers the best views of the Marmara Sea” and is home to the majestic Haydarpaşa Garı railway station.

For the seeker of narrow cobblestone alleys, Segzi suggests Beyoğlu. “Packed with music, bookstores, museums, cafés and a nostalgic tram, Beyoğlu is full of precious moments to capture.” Within walking distance sits Galata, an area steeped in history and home to the 600-year-old Galata Tower that, at 66.9 meters (219 feet), offers spectacular views for miles in every direction.

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Local Lens, Paris, User Feature, ruerodier,

Local Lens: The Backstreets of Montmartre with @ruerodier

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. This time, we take a trip to Paris with Instagrammer Marissa Cox (@ruerodier)—a blogger who recently moved to the French capital. For more from Marissa’s adventures in Paris, follow @ruerodier on Instagram.

“For me, Paris is a feast for the eyes,” says Instagrammer and recently-arrived Paris resident Marissa Cox (@ruerodier). “From the narrow cobbled streets, medieval architecture and famous landmarks to the plethora of cute cafés and decadent patisseries, the city of lights is an Instagrammer’s dream.

"In Montmartre, the Sacré-Cœur is the main attraction. The angelic, ivory-white basilica towers over Paris just behind a flight of steps, which feature several levels of lookout points where you can capture beautiful views of the white and cream shades of the city. The best place to take Instagram photos of the basilica is from the little park below, which blooms with flowers in springtime and is near an equally beautiful and ornate carousel. I also love to wander the winding cobbled backstreets a little further off the beaten tourist track. I’m a big foodie and coffee addict, so I like to walk through the Place du Tertre and down Avenue Junot to Marcel for brunch or stop for a coffee at Soul Kitchen, just on the other side of the Sacré-Cœur, or Café Kooka Boora on my way back down to Rue des Martyrs.

"Rue des Martyrs, located to the south of the Sacré-Cœur, is a street of untapped treasures with a village feel to it. Be sure to shoot pretty bouquets at the many flower shops, the jewel-colored patisseries displayed in the window of Arnaud Delmontel and the rows of artisan cakes and chocolates lined up at chocolatier Sébastien Gaudard.”

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Paris, Local Lens,

Local Lens: Paris outside the Postcard with @gflandre

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. This time round we take a trip to Paris with Instagrammer @gflandre

"I like to define Paris as a ‘living cliché,’" says Instagrammer Guillaume Flandre (@gflandre). “No matter how many times I have seen the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, le Louvre or Montmartre, I still look at these landmarks with the same amazement I had as a child. Paris actually looks like a postcard.”

Away from some of Paris’s most famous and beautiful landmarks, Guillaume likes to capture moments of everyday life in Paris on Instagram and he has found that places close to his home near Canal Saint-Martin make for great shooting locations.

"This canal has everything I like in a neighborhood: lots of young people as well as great restaurants and bars, parks. It’s also a great place to take pictures of people playing basketball, riding their skateboards or partying on the quay next to amazing graffiti-covered walls—and the setting sun reflecting in the water is something I will never get tired of photographing."

Stroll past the islands in the middle of the Seine, Île Saint-Louis and Notre Dame's Île de la Cité, and you could find yourself in the trendy neighborhood of le Marais.

"This part of Paris kind of looks like a village in many ways," says Guillaume. "With small parks, shops and small streets in which it’s easy to get lost. I like to go there to try to discover all the gems this neighborhood has to offer and, of course, snap pictures of it."

Le Marais (3rd and 4th arrondissements) is full of small boutiques and cool cafés. “This part of town is particularly interesting on Sundays when streets are closed to traffic and hip Parisians like to wander around.”

For more local views of Paris, Guillaume also recommends the following Paris Instagrammers: @monsieurlam for great architecture, @ilkflottante for graffiti around the city, @oliviathebaut for minimalism and @nathparis for postcard views of the city.

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Local Lens, User Feature, belo horizonte,

Local Lens: Exploring the Nature of Belo Horizonte with @fredbandeira

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. For more photos and videos from Frederico’s favorite places around Belo Horizonte, explore the Savassi, Praça da Liberdade, Serra do Curral and Lagoa dos Ingleses location pages and follow @fredbandeira on Instagram.

“My city, Belo Horizonte, is certainly a huge creative inspiration. Like most people who live here, I am in love with this place. Belo Horizonte, affectionately called ‘BH,’ has a population of over 3 million but still has that welcoming, small town feel,” says Belo Horizonte Instagrammer Frederico Mattos (@fredbandeira), whose shots mostly capture his day-to-day life. “I could be driving, walking or biking somewhere and all of a sudden I’ll realize that I’m in front of a potentially beautiful shot—and I’ll stop to record that moment.”

Within the urban parts of the city, Frederico heads to Savassi, a local mall, to capture portraits of the eye-catching characters who hang out there. For a dose of the city’s rich culture, Frederico recommends Praça da Liberdade: “It is the city’s most charming square which also houses Brazil’s largest cultural center.”

To experience Belo Horizonte’s natural sights, Frederico hikes up to Serra do Curral. “One of the city’s landmarks, this mountain gives Belo Horizonte a very unique energy.” The Lagoa dos Ingleses is also among Frederico’s favorite spots in “a special corner of the city where nature and beautiful landscapes meet water sports.”

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Local Lens, User Feature, belo horizonte,

Local Lens: Out and About in Belo Horizonte with @adaniella

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. For more photos and videos from Daniella’s favorite places around Belo Horizonte, explore the Mercado Central, Lagoa da Pampulha and Parque das Mangabeiras location pages and follow @adaniella on Instagram.

“I’m inspired by Belo Horizonte’s contrasts, from its breathtaking landscapes to the city’s colors, which speak for themselves,” says Belo Horizonte Instagrammer Daniella Cabizuca (@adaniella). Having lived in Belo Horizonte for the past 12 years, Daniella finds delight in capturing the city through images. “Belo Horizonte is an extremely photogenic city, no matter your taste or style.”

Daniella’s favorite place to take photos is the Mercado Central, a local market where you can find a large diversity of food and drinks. “The Mercado allows me to explore my fascination with colors and shapes.” When in the mood for landscapes, Daniella heads to the Lagoa da Pampulha, a beautiful lake where the famous São Francisco de Assis church is located. “The Lagoa’s amusement park is also really great. Its angles and colors make for wonderful photos.”

To experience the phenomenon behind the city’s name (Belo Horizonte translates to “beautiful horizon”), Daniella suggests visiting the Parque das Mangabeiras. “You can see the entire city from here. It’s a very interesting place to take pictures. Nature is all around, and that is very inspiring.”

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local lens, User Feature, Japan,

Local Lens: Finding Peace in Tokyo with @hirozzzz

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. To explore more of Tokyo, follow @hirozzzz on Instagram.

Tokyo Instagrammer Hiroaki Fukuda (@hirozzzz) is one of the many who have fallen in love with the dense crowds that populate the Tokyo cityscape. From the industrial areas of the Tokyo Bay to Tokyo Tower standing in the heart of the city, Tokyo’s dynamic scenery is one-of-a-kind. For Hiroaki, the beautiful constructions found all over the city fuel his creativity on Instagram.

Hiroaki likes to capture places like the tranquil Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and the scenic route of the Yurikamome train line that rides along the Tokyo bay. “I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of what Tokyo would feel like if it was emptier,” he says. “Whether it is an empty train, a passageway, an empty bench in a park or a street in a busy district, I feel like I’m always striving to create a sense of calm in what I know to be one of the most densely populated regions in the world.”

Other locations Hiroaki enjoys shooting are the narrow alleys found in the vibrant districts of Shibuya and Shinjuku, the architecture in Omotesando and Ginza and the chaos of the Tsukiji Fish Market. Even among the hustle and bustle of these places, Hiroaki finds and captures a moment of peace.

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local lens, user feature, Japan,

Local Lens: An Authentic View of Tokyo with @airnude

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. To explore more of Tokyo, follow @airnude on Instagram.

"Being born and raised in Tokyo, there is no other charm about this place than all the stories I can find in it," says Tokyo Instagrammer Suguru Azuma (@airnude). For Suguru, these stories are mostly about his memories. “I like to shoot all over Itabashi Ward and Ikebukuro District. I haven’t really thought about why, but, come to think of it, these are areas around my hometown that I was able to explore by foot when I was in elementary school.”

Suguru finds inspiration in things that remind him of his childhood days. He often captures honest, everyday scenes which to others may seem trivial. Sculptures peeking out of a neighbor’s house that terrified him as a child, a wall of an elementary school that his friend used to attend, a parking lot where a friend’s house used to stand—these are some of the nostalgic locations that Suguru likes to shoot in old suburban areas of Tokyo.

Suguru also likes to discover simple, unembellished sceneries in huge entertainment districts like Shinjuku-Kabukicho, Shibuya, Harajuku and Ueno. “In these places, there is a high chance you will run into something unexpected. Tokyo has the modern, cosmopolitan areas as well as the old, traditional places like my hometown. I like to keep a mix of photos from both sides of the city,” he says.

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local lens, poland, user feature,

Local Lens: Scenes from Small-Town Poland with @ajkajk

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. To explore more of Poland, follow @ajkajk on Instagram.

"After I finish school I’d like to study photography," says Agata Jackowiak (@ajkajk), an 18-year-old Instagrammer from Oborniki Wielkopolskie, a small town in Poland. Agata captures a vivid snapshot of life in the Polish countryside.

Though it’s a town of only 18,000, Oborniki provides Agata with ample creative inspiration. “Many of my photographs show the streets of my town and the terraced houses I pass by while going to and from school,” Agata says. “A favorite spot here is Obornickie Łazienki by the Wełna River. It’s where people go for scenic walks and to spend time with their families. There is also the old Wroniecki Bridge, which is perfect for Instagramming.”

Outside of Oborniki, Agata suggests visiting Ustronie Morskie, a small town along the Baltic Sea. “There is a long wooden jetty on the beach where you can take pictures of amazing sunrises and sunsets. If the weather is good you can see a lighthouse 13 kilometers (8 miles) away in Kolobrzeg. It is absolutely breathtaking.”

In February, Agata will continue her exploration of Poland—first visiting Warsaw, then Krakow. “If you are interested in the next steps of my journey, follow along!”