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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, gamcheon, south korea,

Exploring the Art at Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을)

For more photos and videos of the village’s art, explore the 감천문화마을 (Gamcheon Culture Village) location page.

Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을) in South Korea is a small village filled with art and history. Located on a mountainside in southern Busan, locals often compare the village’s view of dense buildings to Greece’s Santorini, Peru’s Machu Picchu and even Lego blocks for its shape and colorfulness. Inside the village, narrow alleys spread throughout the city like a maze where people are likely to run into multi-colored buildings, quirky art installations and stylish galleries.

The village, also called Taegukdo Village, was founded in 1918 when thousands of people, many of them followers of the Taegukdo religion, fled to the war-free area of Busan. As a village settled by war refugees, it existed as one of the poorest areas in the region until very recently. In 2009, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched a project to preserve the village, turning it into the artistic community it is today. Now, the picturesque scenery the village provides is known to be a great place for photos, and many local and visiting Instagrammers alike come to document and share the art found all over the city.

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Sarajevo, location feature, Olympic Games, graffiti,

Exploring Sarajevo’s Abandoned Olympic Park

To see more photos and videos of Sarajevo’s Olympic bobsled and luge track, explore the Olimpijski Bob Staza and Trebević location pages.

Stark against the dense forests of Trebević mountain stands a crumbling, brightly adorned concrete track built for the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The track, used for bobsledding and the luge competitions until 1991, primarily draws hikers and graffiti artists these days. It bears the marks not only from the passage of time, but also from the wars that plagued Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s.

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Location Feature, huashan, china, 华山, hiking,

Climbing Huashan (华山), China’s Most Heart-stopping Hike

For more photos from the hike to the top, explore the 华山 Mount Huashan location page and browse the #huashan and #华山 hashtags.

In China’s Shaanxi province, 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Xi’an, the peaks of Mount Hua, or Huashan (华山), pierce the clouds, tempting adventurers to explore their heights.

The westernmost of China’s legendary Five Great Mountains, Huashan has stood as a destination for Daoist and Buddhist pilgramage for centuries—though the inaccessability of its peaks attracts only the most dedicated of pilgrims.

The southern peak reaches the highest altitude at 2,155 meters (7,070 feet), igniting the imaginations of thrill-seeking travellers. Home to an ancient monastery that in recent years has been converted into a tea house, the trail to the peak is one of the most dangerous in the world. Those brave enough to make the climb face steep and winding staircases carved into the cliffs and Huashan’s notorious plank road: a series of wooden planks affixed to the mountain’s face with no rails or barracades between hikers and the abyss below.

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Maho Beach, sam horine, Location Feature,

Capturing the Airplanes of St. Maarten’s Maho Beach with @samhorine

To view more photos and videos from Maho Beach, explore the Maho Beach, Sint Maarten location page.

Maho Beach on the Dutch side of the Caribbean country of Sint Maarten has white sand and turquoise waters, but that’s not why visitors flock there. The beach is famous for planes that buzz sunbathers at low altitudes en route to landing at the Princess Juliana International Airport. Arriving aircraft must touch down as close as possible to the beginning of Runway 10 because of its short 2,300-meter (7,500-foot) landing strip.

New York Instagrammer Sam Horine (@samhorine) recently visited Maho Beach while on a layover. “I walked down the airport road for 10 minutes and turned a corner to find a large crowd of people swimming, sunbathing, drinking cheap Carib beers and waiting for the jets to come in,” he says. “I first watched a few smaller island hoppers come in—a plane lands or takes off every 20 minutes or so. Then, a 757 pulled up for take off. People ran over to the short fence separating the beach and the runway and grabbed hold of the chain link. The jet’s engines turned on and it tore down the runway kicking up sand. Hats, sunglasses and other small items flew past me as the jet blasted down the runway for takeoff. It was truly an amazing, and sandy, experience.”

To get a great shot of the planes, Sam has a few tips:

  • I really liked the perspective of the jets coming in over the beach from the side. It gave a great perspective of how low the planes were and how many people were there.
  • If you’re shooting from the side, I found it helpful to frame the shot before the plane gets there to figure out exactly when you’ll need to start shooting.
  • You can also stand on the beach and let the planes come right over you or wade out into the water and eliminate the beach completely—at the right time of day the jets will cast their shadows down on the water.
  • Don’t underestimate shooting back at the crowd from the beach and catching the planes from behind as they come in above the crowd.
  • Shoot in burst mode if you can. It’s a matter of seconds between when the plane’s a small speck in the frame to when it’s roaring overhead. I missed a few planes at first because of the speed.
  • Lastly, I shot in the square crop on my phone so I could make sure I got the entire plane in the frame to post to Instagram.

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user feature, location feature, bondi, bondi icebergs, australia, tim denoon,

Capturing the Community of Australia’s Bondi Beach with @denoodle

For more photos from Bondi, follow @denoodle on Instagram and explore the Bondi Icebergs and Bondi Beach location pages.

"I like to think I’m a cross between a hippie and a hipster," explains Instagrammer Tim Denoon (@denoodle), a longtime resident of Bondi, an ocean-side suburb of Sydney, Australia.

one that he fuels with his photos of life on the beach or at the Bondi Icebergs' famous oceanfront pool. Drawn to surfers, tourists and locals alike, it's the way that people interact with Bondi that intrigues Tim most. As he puts it, “Some of the men in my pictures are friends or acquaintances, but most are strangers who either jog past very quickly or who stand transfixed at the water's edge by the rolling sea. The beach is a supremely contemplative environment, and being able to photograph people while they're in this head space is a real joy for me. I used to live at a Buddhist monastery, so being able to capture these moments is like creating a zen poem, something short and sharp and full of deeper meaning.”

Though an avid surfer himself, it’s more than just the waves that captures Tim’s imagination, and he sees his photography as a way to bring people together. “What I love most about Bondi is the local community, the people who I see on the sand and on the street who always stop and have a chat about the waves or the sky or how their coffee was slightly too bitter this morning,” he says. Tim uses his photography on Instagram and the #wearebondi hashtag to capture the magic of the Bondi spirit and “get people thinking about what glues us together as a suburb.”

As for what comes next, Tim hopes to take his passion for photography and beach communities on the road: “With any luck I’ll be able to travel more extensively this year with the goal of photographing different beach cultures around the world. It’s a theory I’d like to prove: that surf and sand can join people together just as firmly as bricks and mortar (or hashtags and emoticons).”

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Location Feature, sand dunes, Japan,

Exploring Japan’s Biggest Sand Dunes

To view more photos and videos from the dunes, explore the Tottori Sand Dunes location page.

Huge sand hills, strong winds and camelback rides—these aren’t exactly the scenes you’d expect to find in Japan. Yet at the Tottori Sand Dunes in Tottori, Japan, that’s exactly what you can expect to find. Located in the southwestern region of Honshū Island and neighboring the Sea of Japan, these sand dunes are the only of their kind in the country. Covering an area of 30 square kilometers (7,413 acres), the dunes developed over thousands of years as volcanic sediments from nearby mountains were carried out into the Sea of Japan through the Sendai River. Strong ocean winds brought the sand back ashore to create the dunes. The desert-like environment, along with a herd of imported camels, provide an extraordinary view for locals and visiting Instagrammers alike.

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location feature, Tengboche Monastery, Nepal, Himalayas,

Above the Clouds at Nepal’s Tengboche Monastery

To see more photos and videos from the site in the Himalayas, explore the Tengboche Monastery location page.

3,867 meters (12,687 feet) above sea level and at the foot of the Himalayas stands Tengboche Monastery.

Built in 1916, the monastery sits in the Khumbu Valley of Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the final stop on the “Sacred Sites Trail Project,” a circular trail of 10 monasteries in Sagamatha that draws thousands of adventurous travelers from across the globe each year.

"The surrounding mountains are incredibly rugged monoliths of dark gray and white," says Jessica DiCarlo (@jessicadicarlo), one such adventurer who shared several photos on Instagram during her visit to Tengboche in November. “It really set the tone for the rest of my trek through the Himalayas.” In the end, she says, “it ended up being one of my favorite places on the Sacred Sites circuit. Sunny, freezing, gorgeous and with a lovely community of monks.”

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Location Feature, brazil, fernando de noronha, praia do sancho,

Diving into Baía do Sancho

To view more photos and videos from Noronha, explore the Baía do Sancho location page.

Nature lovers from all over the world hike up the cliffs at Baia de Sancho beach, 354 km (220 mi) off the Northern Brazilian coast, for a view of two enormous volcanic rock formations emerging from the water. Known as Dois Irmãos (“two brothers”) because of their almost identical shape and close proximity, the rock formations are one of Brazil’s natural wonders.

Considered by many as Brazil’s most beautiful beach, Baía do Sancho is one step on the island chain of Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site of 21 islands. The island is only accessible by plane or boat from the northern cities of Recife or Natal, and once there visitors must brave a steep, rickety ladder to access the beach. These difficulties don’t faze a steady stream of adventurers, however, who make the trek to snorkel in the crystal waters among turtles, baby sharks and exotic fish.

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Location Feature, tai o, Hong Kong,

Exploring Tai O (大澳), Hong Kong’s Traditional Fishing Village

To see more photos and videos of Tai O, explore the Tai O 大澳 and Tai O Market 大澳街巿 location pages.

Known locally as “the Venice of Hong Kong,” Tai O (大澳) is a small fishing village which straddles the waters between the west coast of Lantau Island and a smaller island just 15 meters (49 feet) away. The village is known for its waterfront establishments and traditional way of life. Most notably, Tai O is home to the oldest remaining community of stilt houses, once common across all of Hong Kong.

For over two centuries, the village has been home to the Tanka people, formerly a nomadic southern Chinese ethnic group. Since then until the mid-1900s, the village became a major trading port to China, exporting salt and seafood. Though Tai O is no longer a key site for trade, many elderly residents of the village continue to make a living from fishing, duck farming and making the village’s famous salted fish and shrimp paste, all of which can be found in the main Tai O Market. Tourists from mainland China and Hong Kong visit Tai O to see the slow, unchanging lifestyle of the old seaside village—a sight that has become increasingly rare in their rapidly developing home countries.

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user feature, location feature, photo feature, flatiron building,

Capturing New York’s Iconic Flatiron Building with @kat_in_nyc

To view more photos and videos of the Flatiron Building, explore the Flatiron Building location page and follow @kat_in_nyc.

The Flatiron Building in Manhattan has been a favorite subject for photographers since its construction in 1902. Native New Yorkers and visiting Instagrammers alike flock to the building to shoot its iconic wedge-shape. New York photographer Kat Irlin (@kat_in_nyc) has a passion for photographing the Flatiron. “It is photogenic in any weather but looks best in cloudy weather and during sunset. I think it’s a must-see for anyone visiting NYC,” she says.

To get a great shot of the Flatiron, Kat offers a few tips: “You’ll need to cross the intersection right in front of the Flatiron to get far enough away to capture it in its full beauty. I try to look for interesting ‘accents’ around it—there are usually pretty flowers, fixtures and even puddles for #puddlegrams around the building depending on the season. There is a very pretty park across the street, and the Flatiron looks stunning when peeking through the trees. Lastly, to get a minimalist shot, aim at the very top of the building and have the sky take up most of the space.”