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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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Location Feature, dunnottar castle, scotland, landscape,

Exploring the Clifftop Ruins of Scotland’s Dunnottar Castle

For more photos and videos from the ruins, explore the Dunnottar Castle location page.

On Scotland’s northeast coast, the ruins of Dunnottar Castle keep silent watch over the North Sea. Thought to have been built around the sixth century as Dùn Fhoithear, the fortress occupies 1.4 hectares (3.5 acres) on a clifftop 50 meters (160 feet) above the rocky coast below. A national landmark since 1970, the castle draws local and visiting Instagrammers alike to its scenic views and rich history.

From the 13th through the 18th century, Dunnottar was the home of the Keith family, Earls Marischal of Scotland—custodians of the Honours of Scotland (the crown jewels, sword and scepter). When Charles II was crowned King in the Scottish Parliament during the height of the English Civil Wars, the crown jewels used during the coronation could not be returned to Edinburgh as Oliver Cromwell’s English forces advanced in the region. For safekeeping, they were carried to Dunnottar in sacks of wool, where they remained during Cromwell’s eight-month blockade of the castle. Though Cromwell was ultimately victorious in defeating the last remaining Scottish stronghold, the jewels were smuggled out and hidden under an old church in Kinneff where they remained until Charles II regained the throne in 1660.

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big four ice caves, Location Feature, User Feature, landscape,

Exploring the Big Four Ice Caves with @mattbg

To see more photos and videos of the Big Four Ice Caves, explore the Big Four Ice Caves location page.

Two hours outside of Seattle in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, a natural spectacle draws Instagrammers to Big Four Mountain: ice caves. Created from years of cascading water, warm winds and avalanche-deposited snow, the Big Four Ice Caves first attracted Los Angeles Instagrammer Matt Gee (@mattbg) a year ago. As a lover of epic landscapes, Matt immediately knew he had to plan a visit: “This was one place that I absolutely had to see in person. The photos I saw conveyed such an otherworldly and unique landscape.”

"Photographing the caves was an incredible experience. There was a beautiful backdrop of snow-covered mountains and the cascading waterfalls surrounding the caves created an amazing soundtrack for the experience." Capturing the caves’ magnitude was particularly tricky—a problem Matt solved after being drawn to the texture of the cave walls as a backdrop for portraits. "It was really important to have people in my shots to give the photos some scale," Matt says. "It was great to have the subject wearing a pop of color against the cool blues and whites of the walls."

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Location Feature, Japan, meoto iwa, wedded rocks, 夫婦岩, landscape, shinto,

The Romance of Meoto Iwa (夫婦岩), the Wedded Rocks

For more photos and videos from the wedded rocks, explore the 夫婦岩 / The Wedded Rocks location page.

Off the coast of Futami in Japan’s Mie prefecture, two large rocks jutting from the sea are tied in eternal embrace. Known as meoto iwa (夫婦岩), the “wedded rocks” comprise a shinto site symbolizing the union of Izanagi and Izanami, the divine couple that gave birth to the Japanese islands and the kami (spirits) that inhabit them. The rice-straw ceremonial rope, or shimenawa (注連縄), that binds the rocks weighs over a ton and must be replaced multiple times a year as it deteriorates in the wet sea air.

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local lens, fog, landscape, san francisco,

Local Lens: Going Grey with San Francisco’s @karlthefog

In this series, local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around where they live. For more photos and videos from the San Francisco fog, follow @karlthefog and fog-photographing friends @lec101, @wesinthewild, @finn, @ravenreviews, @cafeaulei, @luciomx and @moonman415.

As the community of Instagrammers has grown and connected people across the globe, so too has our ability to share some of the personal, hidden and beautiful locations in our hometowns.

In the second of a two-part series of local guides to San Francisco, the city’s very own fog (@karlthefog) shows you the best spots to photograph him.

Below the Fog – Mt. Davidson

"Located near the geographical center of San Francisco and notable for being the highest hill in the city at 925ft (282m), Mt. Davidson is one of my favorite parks. What makes this place so special is the different types of landscapes found within its boundaries: small narrow paths covered by trees that lead up to open fields with panoramic views of the city. (If you’ve ever seen pictures of San Francisco that make you think ‘When did this city turn into a rainforest?’ they were probably taken here.) For the best shots, go on a foggy morning and capture the way the paths disappear in my cloudy presence. On a few lucky days, you’ll reach the top and realize you’re above the clouds, looking down on a sea of cotton candy covering an entire city below.”

Above the Fog – Mt. Tamalpais

"If you’re thinking ‘Mount Davidson is cool, but I wanna go somewhere with an even better view,’ then I have the place for you. One of the Bay Area’s hot spots for photo taking is Mt. Tamalpais. This place has everything: extremely windy roads, dense forests and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, California coast and the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Drive along the Panoramic Highway and stop at every vista you come across. Check the weather report before you go and plan your trip on a foggy day. Time your trip around dusk to watch the sun set over me. You’re welcome.”

In the Fog – Point Reyes

Point Reyes is a giant cape located 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco. While many people know it because of the Point Reyes Lighthouse, it’s also the location of vast countryside, farms, lakes, beaches and incredible views. Even the hike to get to the lighthouse is filled with several photo opportunities: steep cliffs, paths covered by trees and staircases that disappear into the horizon. I might be biased, but I recommend going on a foggy day. Bundle up in multiple layers (it’s colder and windier than you think) and capture the way the trees hug the path to the lighthouse. It manages to make an ordinary road look simultaneously daunting and magical.

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location feature, dc-3, landscape,

Iceland’s Mysterious DC-3 Plane Wreckage

Want to see more photos? Visit the DC-3 Sólheimasandi location page on Instagram.

Iceland is known for its wonderfully photographic terrain, and most who visit describe it as something out of a science fiction film. The carcass of a downed United States Navy DC-3 plane in the midst of a vast black sand beach known as Sólheimasandur is certainly no exception! Many photographers who visit Iceland add this well-hidden landmark to their must-see lists.

While there’s extremely limited historical information regarding what exactly happened to the fuselage, legend has it that in 1973, during particularly unsavory weather conditions, an airplane ran out of fuel and was forced to make a crash-landing on a beach just west of a small town called Vík. Everyone on board survived, and the wreckage was abandoned in the black sand.