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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, animals, landscape, scotland, highland cow, murn cameron, farm, User Feature, Instagram,

Face to Face with Scotland’s Shaggy Highland Cows

For more photos and videos of Scotland’s shaggy cattle, follow @murn_eilidh_kate and browse the #highlandcow and #highlandcoo hashtags.

Long-horned and remarkably shaggy cattle graze throughout the rolling hills of the Scottish countryside, capturing the hearts of visiting and local Instagrammers alike. Officially called the Highland cow, the breed is also known by its name in the Scots language, kyloe, and by the affectionate name of Highland “coo” for its pronunciation in the Scottish accent.

The cows are more than just a shaggy coat with horns for 17-year-old Scotland Instagrammer Murn Cameron (@murn_eilidh_kate), who works with her family on the Dunach Estate farm near Oban. “The cattle are really inquisitive and curious about humans, and they want to interact with us,” she explains. “They all have different personalities a bit like humans. The calves are very cheeky—and adorable.”

Murn takes her phone with her into the fields, capturing the cattle in all their different colors. “I have a soft spot for the red ones myself,” she says. “People joke and say it is because of the similar hair color as I am ginger, and I must say they may have a point!”

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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."

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animals, lol, motorcycles, user feature, sidecardog, instagram,

Summertime #SidecarDog Adventures with @3wheels2pals1tail

To see more photos and videos of #sidecardog summer adventures, follow @3wheels2pals1tail and their friends @nelsonthegoldendoodle and @arawithspirit.

A road trip to California with her German Shepherd mix Dante inspired Melissa Monno (@3wheels2pals1tail) to take the plunge on a motorcycle and sidecar.

"He loves car rides so much," Melissa explains, but she yearned for a more adventurous mode of transportation. "I do a lot of hiking and camping and he’s been with me everywhere, from weekend getaways to week-long backpacking trips in the wilderness." Dreaming of a motorcycle but not wanting to leave Dante behind, she opted for a sidecar. "Wind in my hair, dog at my side in an off-road adventure bike!"

Inspired by other #sidecardogs like @nelsonthegoldendoodle and @arawithspirit, Melissa made sure to have lots of treats on hand and take it slow. “It took him two or three weeks to get used to it,” she says. But after months of rides close to home, Dante and Melissa are prepared for a summer full of sidecar adventures.

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animals, lambs, rabbits, farms, photography, ambika boutique, Instagram, User Feature,

Life on the Farm with the Designer @ambikaboutique

For more photos and videos of Ambika’s sheep, rabbits and goats plus the occasional design made from their wool, follow @ambikaboutique.

Ambika Conroy (@ambikaboutique) makes accessories and swimwear but on Instagram she’s far more likely to share moments from life on her farm. “I think the simple daily happenings are what you take with you when you die,” she says. “I also hope that my pictures inspire people to want to live and create more consciously and sustainably.”

Many of Ambika’s pieces are made from fibers such as angora that she sources from the farm. There, she and her partner Josh have built a community, inviting guests to stay in their farm, attend yoga classes, visit the animals or even record an album at their studio. “There is so much to learn from animals and nature,” she says. “Keeping my hands busy keeps my mind still and my body strong.”

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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.”

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zoo lovers day, animals, current events, zoos,

Celebrating Zoo Lover’s Day

To view more photos and videos of Zoo Lover’s Day, browse the #zoolovers hashtag on Instagram.

Happy Zoo Lover’s Day! Since the London Zoological Gardens were established in 1828, zoos have been a place to marvel at some of the most fascinating wild animals in the world, all in one place. Many zoos, however, have developed broader and more ambitious goals around education and conservation, engaging visitors in deeper ways with the issues that animals and their habitats may face in the wild.

Interested in learning more about zoos through the day-to-day lives of the animals they care for? Be sure to follow these zoos on Instagram:

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photo feature, zoo lovers day, animals,

Zoo Lover’s Day

Can’t get enough photos of cute baby animals born at the world’s zoos? No problem! Follow @zooborns for a daily dose of cute overload.

April 8th is Zoo Lover’s Day, and in celebration we’ve rounded up some of our favorite zoos on Instagram! The term “zoo” was first used as an abbreviated way to describe the Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London, also known as the London Zoo, which opened for scientific study in 1828 and to the public in 1847.

Be sure to follow a few of the many zoological parks around the world sharing photographs of newborn animals, daily feedings, playtime with the animals, as well as fascinating facts about wildlife.

User Feature: The Pets of Instagram

user feature, animals, dogs, cats,

Anyone who’s ever had a bad day knows the power of a well-timed pet photo popping up in their Instagram feed. There is no shortage of beautiful animals in the world, or talented photographers taking pictures of them, but here are a few of our favorites.

@mdouthwright

 

@kissani

 

@shortformelissa

 

@komoiuu

 

@malisheep

 

Who’s your favorite animal-snapping Instagrammer? Send us a note through Tumblr.

The photo at the top is by @noire_et_blanche.