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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, art, animals, crafts, dachshunds, collage, acidinvader, user feature, lol, instagram,

A Dachshund Collage A Day with @acidinvader

To see more of David Carnie’s whimsical wiener dog works, follow @acidinvader on Instagram.

Before he became a prolific, semi-anonymous creator of dachshund-themed collages, David Carnie’s biggest claim to fame was coining the term “bromance” in the mid-90s. (“I’m sorry,” he says.) For the past year and a half, however, David has produced a dachshund collage nearly every single day under the pseudonym @acidinvader—an anagram of his name.

David began collaging as an exercise in creativity after receiving a daily dachshund calendar as a gift from his parents. “At the time, I had a soul-crushing job that was rendering me mentally bankrupt,” David says, “so I gave myself an assignment: make one piece of art every day for one year.” A year came and went, and he kept collaging.

“I like the random juxtapositions that collages create,” explains David. “That’s part of the ‘exercise’: letting go.” But that doesn’t mean his collages are completely devoid of deeper meaning: “There’s the occasional smarty-pants reference to literature, mythology, fairy tales or music.”

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landscape, animals, nature, David Guttenfelder, National Geographic, Yellowstone, hyperlapse, video feature, Instagram,

Hyperlapsing in Yellowstone National Park with @dguttenfelder

To see more of David’s videos and photographs, follow @dguttenfelder and @natgeo on Instagram.

“I’m redefining myself as a photographer in my home country,” says photojournalist David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder). Based in Japan and India for the past 15 years, David worked across Asia, from war-torn Afghanistan to reclusive North Korea, where his Instagram feed became an unique window into a secluded world. This year, he returns to the United States as a National Geographic (@natgeo) photography fellow, working on a long-term project about the ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone National Park. National Geographic was given a preview of Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app, and David was one of the first photographers to try it out, recording the bison that he now shares the road with on his daily commute.

“I will spend the next year in America’s Wild West,” he explains, adding: “What could be a more perfect homecoming?”

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design, interior, Animals, Helsink, finland, brazil, expats, living abroad, foreigner, User Feature, Instagram,

Home is Where the Heart is with @carolinavd

For more photos from Ana Carolina’s new home, follow @carolinavd on Instagram.

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere, but if it’s true that home is where the heart is, then my home is now Finland,” says São Paulo native Ana Carolina Vieira (@carolinavd), who moved to Helsinki after falling in love 10 years ago. “Although I’m now officially a Finnish citizen, I often still feel as though I’ve just moved here. The midnight sun during the summer and the snowy landscapes in the winter still amaze me every time.”

As a decorator and merchandiser, Ana Carolina believes her visual aesthetic has evolved in her new home. “Long winters take up the vast majority of the year, making things naturally monochrome. Apart from that, life is slower here which translates into a clean and peaceful aesthetic,” she observes. Still, images of São Paulo’s hustle and bustle often make her homesick. “Pictures always remind me of the people and places that were part of my life back home. I start dreaming of everything I would do if I were there. To cope with being homesick, I spend time with my Finnish loved ones and try to see and enjoy the best of my new home. My dog Emma helps me a lot, too.”

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Photography, Animals, Black and White, Oceans, shark week, scuba diving, underwater photography, how i shoot, User Feature, Instagram,

How I Shoot: Underwater Shark Photography with @michaelmuller7

For each How I Shoot, we ask an Instagrammer to tell us about their creative process. To see more of Michael’s photos from his shark expeditions, follow @michaelmuller7 and follow @discoverychannel as Michael takes over Discovery Channel’s Instagram account during Shark Week.

Michael Muller (@michaelmuller7) is on a mission to change the way we see sharks. “They are in a lot of trouble right now,” he says. “100 million are slaughtered every year, and I say slaughter because the majority of the time the shark is killed just for its fins.”

In his day job, Michael is a Hollywood-based commercial photographer renowned for his celebrity portraits and images used in box office billboards. But when he has free time, Michael devotes himself to documenting sharks in their native habitat around the world. He has even created an underwater strobe lighting system as powerful as the one in his California studio. “Realizing that I couldn’t bring the shark into the studio, I knew I would have to bring the studio to it,” he says.

The key to successful underwater shark photography, according to Michael, is staying relaxed. “Anxiety is the biggest obstacle,” he says. “If you let negative thoughts take hold then you are in for a really rough time.”

Michael uses Instagram to share images of his encounters in the deep. Here he tells us more about his process during and after his underwater excursions:

Equipment:

Phase One medium format with Nauticam, Nikon D800 with Subal Housing, Red Epic Dragon, GoPro and a “list of scuba equipment too long to enumerate.”

Vantage Point:

Because Michael rarely shoots from insides shark cages, he works closely with a team to be in the best position possible. “I have to constantly anticipate where the animal may go or do. What we look for always is what we call a ‘player,’which is a shark that is very mellow and curious that will stay around us. It is with sharks like this that magic happens.”

Shooting:

“It’s all about waiting for that right ‘moment’ to hit the trigger, which comes from 28 years experience. If you get too excited and go too fast then you miss that moment. If you wait too long you watch it happen and have the shot in your head, but no one else ever gets to witness it, so timing is everything.“

Editing:

Depending on the length of the shoot, Michael will return with between 3,000-10,000 photos. “I keep every image I take, I get rid of blank images but keep everything else,” he says. “With Instagram I usually post between 4-8 images from a particular trip.” For processing tools, Michael uses his own custom filters app MullerPhoto, and also the newest Instagram creative tools. “There are times I just go right into Instagram and just use its tools which are really getting more and more phenomenal.”

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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.”

Photoset

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: