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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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Art, fashion, style, minimal, madelynn furlong, wide eyed legless, Black and White, user feature, Instagram, photography,

Balancing Minimalism and Whimsy with @wideeyedlegless

For more of Madelynn’s beautifully crisp photos, follow @wideeyedlegless on Instagram.

Years ago, artist Madelynn Furlong (@wideeyedlegless) turned to Instagram in search of a new creative outlet. Madelynn is now a successful designer, stylist and blogger in Minneapolis, and her photos on Instagram continue as an expression of her art, refined into a casually elegant, almost black-and-white style.

"Over the past few years I have been slowly rooting myself in minimalism," she explains, "and my feed isn’t the only thing that has turned basically black and white—my house and wardrobe both have as well!" Although her photos often feature sleek interiors and crisp fashions, Madelynn says that it’s her own personality that makes her work special: "I focus on contrast, clean lines and the rule of thirds—but still with a heavy dose of whimsy because that is what makes me, me. When it comes down to it, just take pictures of things that you think are beautiful and inspire you. That’s all that truly matters!"

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photography, black and white, shadow, documentary, tehran, User Feature, Instagram,

Finding the Drama of Light and Shadow in Tehran with @f64s125

For more of Ako’s street images from Tehran, follow @f64s125 on Instagram.

In the nooks and crannies of Tehran’s streets, photojournalist Ako Salemi (@f64s125) finds the moments when light, shadow, environment and people all come together in exquisite balance. “Sometimes I shoot just from the hip,” says Ako, “and sometimes I wait for ‘the decisive moment’ when the action, the light and all other elements make the right composition.”

Ako’s passion for black and white images began at an early age when he discovered a love for the classic films of Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and Ingmar Bergman. He even graduated with a degree in drama hoping to be a filmmaker. But it was his shy demeanor and introverted character that led him to realize that he is better suited to what he calls “an art that can be made in solitude.”

Ako began expressing his visual ideas through photography and for the past two years has turned to Instagram to share his vision of street life in Tehran. “It’s as if I am having a non-judgmental dialogue with each of these Instagram friends that could not be expressed in words. I’m showing a piece of my city’s life and a piece of me.”

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illustration, art, art on tumblr, Artists on Tumblr, Black and White, david bowie, photography, Instagram, User Feature,

@elenikalorkoti’s Strange and Stylish Illustrations

For more chicly drawn sorceresses, witches and space travelers, follow @elenikalorkoti.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Eleni Kalorkoti’s (@elenikalorkoti) inspiration for the strange and stylish characters she illustrates comes from eclectic sources including ’70s cinema, “Columbo” and dance costumes by Oskar Schlemmer. “Last week I went to see a David Bowie exhibition,” she says, “and now I want to draw everyone wearing quilted jumpsuits.”

For Eleni, Instagram provides an opportunity to share inspiration as well as works in progress. “It’s nice to get some feedback on something after working on it alone in your room all day,” she says. “It’s also a great place to share someone else’s work and hopefully send some new people their way.”

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Black and White, art, Artists on Tumblr, shantell martin, photography, In the Artist's Studio, Instagram,

Follow the Pen of @shantell_martin

To see more of Shantell’s life and work, follow @shantell_martin on Instagram.

Blank canvases were once intimidating for the artist Shantell Martin (@shantell_martin), whose black-and-white work travels across surfaces from crisp white shirts to refrigerator doors. “I used to worry, ‘what if I make a mistake?’” she says. “Then I realized that it’s all a big mistake. You just have to enjoy it.”

Shantell’s advice for artists who are facing the beginning of a project is simple: “Just follow the pen and hope that the pen knows where it’s going.”

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Black and White, photography, music, bonnaroo, Summer Music Festivals, ryan mastro, Instagram,

How I Shoot: Capturing Concerts with @ryan_mastro

For each How I Shoot, we ask an Instagrammer to tell us about their creative process. For more of Ryan’s behind-the-scenes perspective on music, follow @ryan_mastro on Instagram.

This year the Connecticut photographer Ryan Mastro (@ryan_mastro) will shoot Bonnaroo (@Bonnaroo) for the ninth time. “It’s become a summer tradition,” he says. “I get to document artists who are doing what they love and be surrounded by more than 80,000 like-minded people.”

Music has always been a big part of Ryan’s life. “I started shooting shows as a student in Montana,” he says. “I’m interested in capturing the energy and emotion of a band as well as the lighting and other visuals they’ve chosen to present with their music.”

Here are Ryan’s tips for capturing the perfect picture of a performance:

Camera

"I use an iPhone 5s but still shoot mostly film and every year I like to try something new."

Vantage Point

"Behind the drum kit is the place to be. I also fly in a helicopter for some aerial photos, which is quite a view! If you’re shooting from the crowd, focus on the atmosphere rather than the bands. At Bonnaroo there’s a lot of off-stage visual stimulation.”

Shooting

"I’m a Libra so I like balance. I’m comfortable shooting high-energy performances, but I also like to set up the tripod at night for some long-exposure, landscape-type work."

Editing

"For mobile, I use Hipstamatic. For film, all of what I do is ‘in-camera’ so there is not much to do in Photoshop.”

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weekend hashtag project, whpblackandwhitevideo, Black and White,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPblackandwhitevideo

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s tag was #WHPblackandwhitevideo, which asked participants to capture creative videos in black and white. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

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weekend hashtag project, WHPblackandwhitevideo, Black and White,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPblackandwhitevideo

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

The goal this weekend is to capture creative videos in black and white. Some tips to get you started:

  • Without color, light and shadows become your focal point. Look for window light and cloudy skies for a softer effect or seek out brighter sunlight for more contrast and drama.
  • Shapes also become more apparent in black and white. Focus on patterns and lines to create something more abstract.
  • Don’t forget about sound! Keep your ears open as you shoot and be aware of the sounds being recorded. Avoid windy settings to cut down on noise.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPblackandwhitevideo hashtag to videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own videos to the project. Any video taken then tagged over the weekend is eligible to be featured right here Monday morning!

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User Feature, black and white, katia_mi,

The Beautiful Minimalism of @katia_mi

For more beautiful black and white photographs, follow @katia_mi. Black and white not your thing? Visit her second account, @katia_mi_, for her color photos.

Moscow, Russia-based art director Katia (@Katia_mi) isn’t trying to create a mood with her photos. “I have no mission, no reason. This is an internal dialogue. Feelings are much more interesting than ideas,” she says.

In her day-to-day, Katia works as a versatile designer, working on interiors, jewelry, women’s accessories and even communication design. And while her career requires her to tailor her art to the needs of her clients, her Instagram account allows her to express her own daring thoughts.

"Most photographers believe that details are the most important things in a picture. In black and white, I get rid of details and put sense in shadow."

Though shadows are her specialty, Katia also has a second Instagram account, @katia_mi_, where she posts some of her photos in color.