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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, User Feature, Photography, New York City, roads, Cars,

Bleak and Dark New York City through the Eyes of @d_belov

For more bleak and dark shots from the streets of New York, follow @d_belov on Instagram.

“Everyday I find special moments happening on the streets of New York—a photo shoot for ‘Batman’ on the Brooklyn Bridge, or a movie set on Fifth Avenue. Even on bleak days I could show the dynamic life in the city. These things all inspire me,” says Instagrammer Dmitry Belov (@d_belov) who moved from Volgograd, Russia to New York six months ago. “I see New York through the movement of people, cars, and events. The roads of New York are mysterious, and they mesmerize me.”

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Photography, food, design, sunday suppers, nana hagel, karen mordechai, copenhagen, New York City, todayimet, Instagram,

#TodayIMet with @nana_ha and @sundaysuppers

In this series, Instagrammers share the stories of meeting people in real life after discovering their work on Instagram. To see more photos and videos by @nana_ha and @sundaysuppers, follow them on Instagram and browse the #todayimet hashtag.

Copenhagen food and travel journalist Nana Hagel (@nana_ha) landed an internship in New York City through Instagram. She had been following the Instagram images of Karen Mordechai, founder of Sunday Suppers (@sundaysuppers). “I immediately fell in love with her style,” Nana says. “I saw that she was looking for help and I knew I had to apply.”

Nana joined the team on Wednesday. “Meeting Nana from across the world and having her come to collaborate with us at the studio is one of the things I love about Instagram,” Karen says. “It really is about expanding your vision and community. It affords us the chance to meet amazing people that we wouldn’t have a chance to connect with otherwise.”

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photography, design, portrait, art, self portrait, new york city, artists on tumblr, user feature, hashtag highlight, instagram,

Finding a Creative Complement with @wadejeffree and @letasobierajski

To see more imaginative portraits from Leta and Wade, follow @letasobierajski and @wadejeffree on Instagram.

“Usually we send each other ideas, sketches and imagery throughout the week leading up to our shoot,” says Leta Sobierajski (@letasobierajski), who collaborates with partner Wade Jeffree (@wadejeffree) on Complements, a weekly series of unconventional portraits. “We’re inspired both by hilarious couple photography from the Internet and beautiful imagery from couples in history.”

Wade, a graphic designer, and Leta, an art director, shoot the photos in their Brooklyn apartment. “We wanted to collaborate,” explains Wade, “but the opportunity hadn’t arisen.” So the duo decided to explore their creativity—and relationship—through collaborative portraits. “The portraiture often becomes surreal, funny and romantic,” says Leta, “and it helps depict our personalities and the way we think together.”

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Photography, Art, Artists on Tumblr, landscape, rockaways, klaus biesenbach, moma ps1, Art Thursday, New York City, Instagram,

Art and Resilience in the Rockaways

For more photos and videos of the Rockaway! show, follow @klausbiesenbach on Instagram and explore the #rockaway1 hashtag.

At the forefront of ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts near some of the best beaches in New York City, the art festival Rockaway! is underway until September 1. Curated by Klaus Biesenbach (@klausbiesenbach), the show features works by artists including Adrián Villar Rojas, Patti Smith and Janet Cardiff installed in settings as various as a former automotive warehouse, a military chapel and even the beach itself. “One minute you’re digging your toes in the sand,” Instagrammer Oscar Diaz (@oscmdiaz) says of the show. “The next thing you know, you’re reading Walt Whitman’s poetry engraved on large granite stones.”

Pari Ehsan (@paridust), whose photos combine fashion and art also visited the Rockaways to see the show. “What really struck me is Klaus’s description of the inspiration behind Patti Smith’s The Resilience of the Dreamer,” she says. “After seeing an overwhelming heap of mattresses waiting to be discarded after Hurricane Sandy, the idea of this delicate gilded four-poster bed juxtaposed against a raw dilapidated space is a beautiful symbol of fragility and resilience.”

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Art, Artists on Tumblr, design, Architecture, moma ps1, confetti system, flex is kings, New York City, photography, Instagram,

Dancing Your Heart Out at @momaps1

For more of photos and videos of MoMA PS1’s Warm Up series, follow @momaps1 on Instagram and browse the #warmup2014 hashtag.

A visit to MoMA PS1 (@momaps1) in Queens, New York on a Saturday this summer might involve world-class art as well as dancing, oysters and piñatas. “Warm Up is MoMA PS1’s summer-long outdoor experimental music series,” Margaret Knowles (@margie__k), its producer, says. “Visitors who come for their favorite DJs can watch them spin against a stage set created by an emerging design firm alongside an installation by our Young Architects Program; those who come to see an exhibition or sample M. Wells’s take on a lobster roll can dance their hearts out.”

Confetti System (@confettisystem) is one of the design firms featured at this year’s Warm Up. “As artists and designers,” they say, “it is rare to be offered such an open platform within the context of a museum.”

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instameet, New York City, instagram direct,

Adventures in Snowy NYC with #brooklyndirectconnect

For more photos and videos from the meet-up, check out the #brooklyndirectconnect hashtag.

Just a day after the launch of Instagram Direct, New York City saw one of the first substantial snowfalls of this winter. Undeterred by the cold, a few intrepid Instagrammers decided to celebrate the snow by meeting up under the Manhattan Bridge.

As the snow began, NYC Instagrammer Danielle (@mimizinne) sent a video of herself walking through Prospect Park in the snow to a group of her friends with Instagram Direct. Her caption: “Bundle up guys. It’s cold outside.” In the span of a few minutes, the conversation around her video turned to ideas of getting together—and within a few hours, they had all gathered under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo. As Danielle explains, “For a lot of the people, I don’t have their phone numbers. It was a way to reach out to a bunch of people who I know through Instagram.” People on the thread invited their friends in turn, bringing together a group of new people excited about the beautiful snow in their city.

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macy's thanksgiving day parade, current events, New York City, thanksgiving,

Experience Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Instagram

To see more photos and videos from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, follow @macys, visit the location pages for Columbus Circle, Times Square and Herald Square and browse the #MacysParade hashtag.

During Thanksgiving, people across the United States get together with family and loved ones to reflect on the past year and give thanks for the bonds they share. For those in New York City—and the millions who tune into the live broadcast—Thanksgiving also means joining hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers to witness the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Today’s procession, which marks the 87th Macy’s parade, kicks off from 77th Street and Central Park West at 9am ET and makes its way south to Herald Square on 34th Street. The annual celebration is known the world over for its giant—and photogenic—balloon floats, many of which top three stories in height.

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New York City, User Feature,

Photographing New York City from Above with @wrongrob

To view more photos and videos from a bird’s-eye perspective of New York, follow @wrongrob on Instagram

Rob Masao McCarthy (@wrongrob) is a father of three in Brooklyn, New York. Outside of his day job as a freelance digital media consultant and photographer, Rob gets his thrills scaling New York City’s tallest bridges, trams, roofs and skyscrapers to shoot the city from above.

"I first developed an interest in photography shooting street portraits of the people of New York City. Then I realized that I was really interested in the city itself as a subject," he says. "I discovered that the higher up and further away I got, the more the immense city was reduced to shapes, lines and angles. There is a peace and universality in that geometry that I really like. Somehow it makes the city more human."

Want to refine the compositions of your cityscapes? Here are Rob’s tips:

  • Pay attention to depth of field in your frame. Try to include a distinct foreground, middle ground and background, which helps create a sense of scale and distance. A mix of different building heights helps too.
  • Look for an interesting street angle within the buildings that will draw your viewers into the photo. Avoid shooting straight in front of you and placing the primary subject in the middle of the frame.
  • To add atmosphere and mood to cityscape shots, shoot on cloudy or rainy days. Hard, bright light is not your friend!
  • I am always safe and law-abiding, of course, but if you’re trying to get to a building’s upper levels, skip the elevator and look for the stairs. You’ll be surprised where you end up.

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user feature, Stacey Baker, New York City,

Documenting the Legs of New York with @stace_a_lace

Follow Stacey Baker (@stace_a_lace) on Instagram and be sure to check out her full collection of New York legs at citilegs.com.

During the work day, Stacey Baker is an associate photo editor at The New York Times Magazine, curating photos and occasionally contributing to the Times Magazine's 'The 6th Floor' blog.

In March, Baker posted to her Instagram account (@stace_a_lace) the first of what would become a recurring series of photos documenting the various styles and shapes of women’s legs in New York City.

"I started taking pictures of women’s legs about four months ago. Like a lot of people who live in New York, I walk a great deal, and almost everywhere you look, you see wonderfully stylish people," says Stacey. "Occasionally, I get a negative response, but for the most part, the women I approach are game and seem pleased to have been asked. A number of women have told me I’ve made their day."

Stacey offers advice for those that may want to try their hand at photographing strangers:

"I think people are most receptive when you’re as straightforward as possible," she says. "When I approach someone, I explain that I’m doing a project on legs, and I show them a sample of the images I’ve already posted. I offer to delete any photos they don’t like, and also to email them the images."

And what if you’re turned down? “Sometimes a rejection stings a little, but you just keep trying.”

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current events, New York City, manhattanhenge,

Manhattanhenge

Want to see more? Browse photos tagged with the #manhattanhenge hashtag and check out the Manhattanhenge location page.

Don’t miss out on the photos from yesterday’s Manhattanhenge! Twice a year, the setting sun in New York City aligns perfectly with Manhattan’s east-west street grid. This phenomenon makes for the perfect chance to snap photos of the sun setting between the skyscrapers of Manhattan.