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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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Behind the InstaMeet: @firmanaldianto, Mount Bromo

In this series, we hear from the Instagrammers organizing InstaMeets in different parts of the world. To view more photos and videos from Mount Bromo, browse the #InstaMeetJiran hashtag and follow @firmanaldianto, @moriesadhtya and @rino_adlis on Instagram.

In late February, 12 Instagrammers—five from Malaysia and seven from Indonesia—gathered for #InstaMeetJiran, a four-day InstaMeet on East Java’s active volcano, Mount Bromo.

Inspiration

”#InstaMeetJiran happened because of the Malaysian Instagrammers,” explained Firman Aldianto (@firmanaldianto), an Indonesian Instagrammer who helped organize the meet-up.

"Since the last Worldwide InstaMeet,” says Malaysian Instagrammer Razieff (@razieff), “a group of us have organized several InstaMeets.” When they learned of last year’s meet-up on Indonesia’s scenic Mount Bromo, however, they were inspired to make a pilgrimage of their own.

"It was the first international InstaMeet I ever attended," Razieff says.

Organization

Firman says Malaysia Instagrammer “Shafiq (@shafiqanaksaleh_) contacted us Indonesian Instagrammers who live in Malang and told us of their plan to visit Indonesia.”

Alongside friends Mories Adhtya (@moriesadhtya) and Rino Adlis (@rino_adlis), Firman then spread the word to their friends throughout Indonesia. “First I told my friends from Malang,” explains Mories, “then I called some Instagrammers from Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Surabaya and Makassar.”

In the end, the group included Instagrammers from Malaysia, Malang and Surbaya, many of whom were meeting for the first time.

Reflection

"This was a truly unforgettable experience," says Firman. Beyond Instagram, "we shared and learned about one another’s culture, tourism, cuisine and more."

Says Razieff, “Even though we’d never met in real life before, we all became close and still keep in touch.”

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Location Feature, kawah ijen, indonesia,

Sulfur Mining at Indonesia’s Ijen Crater Lake

To view more photos and videos from the Ijen sulfur lake, visit the Kawah Ijen location page.

High up in the East Java region of Indonesia, the Ijen volcano is a site of both magnificent beauty and treacherous working conditions.

Stretching across a width of 1km (3,280ft), a bright turquoise lake draws traveling Instagrammers from across the world to capture its splendor in the rising sun. Though beautiful, the lake contains some of the most acidic water on the globe as a result of sulfur present in the volcanic gas.

Local organizations have taken advantage of the sulfur and developed a laborious mining operation to fuel other industries on the island. After channeling through a series of pipes, the condensed gasses pour out into pools of bright yellow molten sulfur.

Mine workers break apart the cooled sulfur by hand and then carry the 70-90kg (165-200lb) baskets up the steep crater rim before embarking on a 3km (1.86mi) hike to their destination in the Pultuding valley. The approximately 200 laborers often make this trip multiple times per day for very slight earnings.

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Indonesian Instagrammers Meet at Mount Bromo, East Java

This weekend (April 6-7), we’re challenging people around the globe to host their very own photo walk or InstaMeet, just like this Indonesian crew. Organizing is easy: grab some Instagram friends, pick a location and add a hashtag to the photos that you share that’s unique to your InstaMeet! Learn more here.

Inspired by the @pilgramers, Indonesian Instagrammers Ernanda Putra (@ernandaputra) and Jagat Natha (@jagatnatha) hosted their own InstaMeet in Jakarta in January. They were amazed by the success. “18 people came from all around the country. We had so much fun that day and got lots of feedback and requests to do it again.” So Ernanda and Jagat, along with Dicky Irman Nassa (@anomalu) from Jakarta and Sigit Hartanto (@sigithartanto) and Arie Novwan (@konservatif) from Bandung, began planning their next InstaMeet at Mount Bromo, an active volcano in East Java.

The game plan was simple: the five organizers announced the InstaMeet on their Instagram accounts and invited anyone to participate, so long as they could arrange their own transportation to Mount Bromo and pay for lodging.

23 Instagrammers made the trip, many of whom met for the first time at the three-day event. They spent most of the first day on the road together, splitting three cars en route to Bromo. On the second day, the group summited the mountain at 3:00AM to see the sun rise, and later explored Bromo’s “green savana" and "whispering sands.” Each night, they returned to their shared lodging, a local villager’s house, and got to know one another better. “For me this small event was really special,” Ernanda says. “Instagram actually brings me exciting new experiences— meeting new people, exploring new places—and this was a truly unforgettable experience.”

To view more photos from the Mount Bromo InstaMeet, visit the hashtag #instameetbromo and follow @ernandaputra and @jagatnatha on Instagram!

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How I Shoot: Levitating with @JunantoHerdiawan

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about the set-up and process behind their photos. This week, @JunantoHerdiawan shares how he takes photos where he appears to be levitating.

Camera: iPhone & iPad.

Vantage Point: “Levitation is like philosophy. It’s not just a jump shot; it is a floating moment. I like to travel and see many interesting places in the world. My idea is to levitate in any interesting place or interesting moment. By doing that, I feel like I can float or fly in any place in the world.”

Shooting: Using an application that takes multiple photos at a time while you jump makes it easier to capture the perfect levitation photo. “I use the Fast Camera application on iPhone or iPad to capture the moment. It is a continuous-shoot application that can capture every second of my levitation.”

Editing: While Junanto may touch up the lighting or tones in his photos, there are no special apps or programs used to create the levitation effect. “I don’t use editing for my levitation photos, no special application. I only adjust for lighting and other effects.”

Follow Junanto’s levitating adventures in Jakarta, Indonesia, and throughout the world at instagram.com/junantoherdiawan.