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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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us open, tennis, current events, tips,

Tips from the US Open: Taking the Perfect Action Shot

For more photos and videos from the US Open, be sure to visit the Arthur Ashe Stadium - USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center location page and follow the official accounts for the world tours: @atpworldtour and @wta.

The US Open (@usopen) is in full swing in New York! The Open is the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, and over the next few days the men’s and women’s champions will be crowned. If you’re attending the US Open matches or just playing tennis with friends, be sure to keep these mobile sports photography tips from the folks at Getty in mind:

  • Pay attention to where your point of focus is set in the frame. The focal point can make or break an image, so make sure you have one and tap the screen to focus on that spot.
  • Take advantage of the morning and afternoon light. Bright light can be harsh, but early or late light creates beautiful, dark backdrops that accentuate a well-lit subject.
  • Take your photo earlier than you think you need to. A tennis ball is faster than you think!
  • Think outside of the rally. Action shots don’t just mean the ball and racquet—be ready for players’ reactions and celebrations.

Photoset

user feature, ryan behner, tips,

A Daily Commute with @rbehner

Nearly every day for the past six years, Colorado Instagrammer Ryan Behner (@rbehner) has commuted by bike to work. About a year ago, he started posting daily pre-commute self-portraits right outside his house, facing east with his bike in hand. “When I started mixing commuting with my other passion of photography, the series kind of materialized on its own,” he says. Ryan’s Instagram photos serve as a visual diary of the past year and the progression of his style. “If you look back at my stream, you’ll see it started with me drinking coffee on the curb and watching the sun rise. Then as sunrise got later and later, it switched to being right as I left for work. From there I started experimenting and iterating.”

For Ryan, the best part of his year-long photo challenge has been the reactions of other Instagrammers. “The response to the shots has been far greater than I could have imagined, especially as I am getting towards the end of my goal. The beginning was just an experiment, seeing if I could take a shot of myself everyday as I headed off to work. Then I slowly I started to run out of ideas and poses, and I’d have to try something new right on the spot. The feedback from my friends and local followers is really what motivated me to keep it going and to keep experimenting every morning, no matter how silly I looked out on the curb in front of the passing cars.”

Want to start your own series like Ryan? Here are his tips:

  • Learn to count to 10. “All of my shots are taken with a 10-second timer. This guarantees countless takes and embarrassing poses to sift through to get to the final gem where I actually hit the timer right on.”
  • Know your sunlight. “Trying to find the position and pose that perfectly blocks the sun from the camera and have it still look good is a fun task every morning. It’s either a perfectly silhouetted shot, or a lens flare explosion of nothing. I’m looking forward to the later sunrises where I can start playing without the sun in the direct field of view, my eyes will also thank me.”
  • Find a safe and stable place for your device. “My street goes from being divided by a double yellow to a huge median filled with trees. Thus I use the curb of the median every day to set my camera on and take the shot. It’s kind of how I get away with doing what I do, the traffic splits around me every day, and I just sit in a little pocket and goof off every morning.”

Photoset

User Feature, stop motion, tips,

Rachel Ryle (@rachelryle) and the Art of Stop Motion

Since the launch of video on Instagram, illustrator and animator Rachel Ryle (@rachelryle) has transformed her feed into a gallery of stop-motion animation. “I’ve always been intrigued by the art of stop motion,” Rachel says. “As soon as Instagram released the video feature I started experimenting. It wasn’t long before I posted my first animation and I haven’t stopped since.”

Rachel credits the Instagram community as her inspiration to keep creating. “I was instantly overwhelmed by the support and attention my animations received, which made me excited to keep creating more. Everyday I’m looking around for inspiration and I find myself waking up eager to start the next project.”

Interested in trying your hand at your own stop-motion videos? Here are a couple tips from Rachel:

  • Film with a tripod or by placing your phone on a glass table and drawing underneath. “You’ll notice with my first animations I was holding my phone while recording and it looks like the Blair Witch Project.”
  • Don’t hold back — get out there and create. “Instagram has always been a place for beautiful and artistic photographs, so let’s make videos with the same intent.”

See more of Rachel’s work on her website, dontstopmotion.com, and follow her @rachelryle.

Photoset

User Feature, macro photography, insects, tips,

Bugging Out with @teresa_franco

San Diego, California Instagrammer Teresa Franco (@teresa_franco) isn’t afraid to get up close and personal with insects to fuel her love of macro photography.

Her interest in insects comes from her love of science fiction: “Everything about them, their appearance, behaviors—everything is just so alien.” Her passion has led her to learn a great deal not only about macro photography, but also her subjects as well. “I’ve learned so much about their behaviors and personalities that I can almost predict their next move,” she says.

As for her photography, Teresa takes all of her photos and videos using her phone and a few trusty accessories. She alternates between her SquidCam case and lenses and an Olloclip.

Teresa also has some tips for others who may want to try their hand at macro mobile photography or videography: “Other than having passion for it, macro photography is about three things: knowledge, technique, and patience. You have to know your subjects: their behavior, how to approach them, and when to shoot them. You must shoot without fear. Also, you must have great patience to achieve great shots. I’ve spent a good hour chasing bees and dragonflies—do not surrender and it will yield rewarding results.”

Photoset

video filters, tips, dogpatch, ginza, helena,

Getting Familiar with Video Filters: Dogpatch, Helena and Ginza

Learn more about film colorist Denver Riddle at colorgradingcentral.com and follow him on Instagram: @colorgrading.

When working on video, Instagram turned to film colorist Denver Riddle to create 13 custom, cinema quality filters. Each filter has its own personality and is designed to evoke a certain feeling by highlighting or subduing different colors and tones.

Denver provided some background on three Instagram filters: Dogpatch, Helena and Ginza.

Dogpatch

  • What it does: Heightens contrast, mutes colors
  • What it’s good for: Dramatic or post-apocalyptic feel

"Some of the more organic video filters I created emulate the traditional photochemical techniques that are achieved in the lab. One of the most popular techniques is the bleach bypass look, like Instagram’s Dogpatch filter, where the bleaching step is skipped in the processing."

"The result is a sort of grungy, high-contrast muted look live you’ve seen in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, as well as in many post-apocalyptic thrillers.”

Helena

  • What it does: Emulates “golden hour” feeling with orange/teal look
  • What it’s good for: Contrasting between skin tones and background

"The orange/teal look you see in the Helena filter has become popular in Hollywood because it creates contrast between the background and skin tones, immediately focusing the audience’s eye on the talent," says Riddle.

"This look utilizes a concept of color theory, namely warm/cool contrast as well as contrast of complementary colors. Skin tones get pushed towards orange, and shadows and undertones get pushed towards teal."

Ginza

  • What it does: Hightens contrast, brightens colors
  • What it’s good for: Fashion magazine look

"Creating stylized looks is the part I enjoy most about being a colorist. The measure I believe in for a good colorist is their ability to leverage color contrast in a tasteful and meaningful way. That is my goal when I set out to create stylized looks—to create nice color contrasts and color harmonies while still preserving the integrity of the skin tones."

"This is what I’ve provided in the more stylized Instagram video filters. With looks like Ginza, you get a look like you’d see in a fashion magazine."

Video Tips: Audio on Instagram

tips, video tips, audio, video on instagram,

For more tips, tricks and troubleshooting assistance, visit help.instagram.com and browse the tips from our blog!

Watching Video

When you’re viewing a video on Instagram, the sound is controlled by your device’s volume setting. If your phone is set to silent, the video will play with the sound off.

On an iOS device, you can switch the sound on and off by flipping the switch on the left side of your device.

For Android, you can control the volume for a video in two ways:

  • Adjust the device’s media volume under Settings, or
  • Wait for an Instagram video to begin playing, and raise/reduce the volume from the switch on the side of your device

Recording Video

Try these tips to improve the audio quality when recording a video on Instagram:

  • Use your hands-free set, which has a built-in microphone
  • Use an external microphone, like the iStabilizer iRig mic (Apple)
  • Make a removable wind sheild (called a “deadcat” in the film industry) for your device’s microphone

Concerned about videos playing automatically? You can disable auto-play under Settings > Preferences.

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user feature, danny clinch, concert photography, tips, howishoot,

How I Shoot: Danny Clinch’s Concert Photography

Want to view more photos from Bonnaroo? Visit the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival location page and the #trueroo hashtag.

Danny Clinch (@dannybones64) has photographed musicians and documented their performances since the mid-1980s when he was an intern for Annie Leibovitz. Along the way, Danny has captured Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Tupac Shakur and Björk in his signature unobtrusive style. He posts some of those intimate, modest moments on Instagram and even shared a few of his concert photography tips with us:

  • Try to find a point of view that is different from the people around you.
  • The most interesting photograph is not always of the lead singer at the microphone.
  • Watch what happens between songs.
  • Try different angles. The view from the furthest seat in the house can be as rewarding as the front row.
  • Develop relationships with people in the music industry—both venue employees and band members—for behind-the-scenes photo opportunities.

Starting tomorrow, Danny will be photographing the four-day Bonnaroo festival (@bonnaroo) in Manchester, Tennessee. Follow him and performers like The XX (@the_xx_), Reggie Watts (@reggiewatts), Porter Robinson (@porterrobinson), Alana Haim (@babyhaim) and The National (@ntnl) for a behind-the-scenes look at the music and comedy festival.

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macro, nature photography, tips, user feature, howishoot,

How I Shoot: Macro Nature Photos with @rickyohead

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. This week, @rickyohead shares his tips for taking up-close photos of nature with a mobile macro lens.

Camera: iPhone 4, with Olloclip macro lens

Vantage Point: Bug’s-eye view, very close to the subject. Crawling in the grass, peeking under a leaf, on my tippy toes to reach a flower — whatever it takes to capture a unique perspective.

Shooting: Public parks and preserves are best, but nature is everywhere if you look carefully. Lighting is key. Early morning is great because of the strong, warm colors and opportunity to get a sharp, backlit shot. For bugs, be patient and don’t be afraid of the critters you find. If they fly away when you approach, they usually land close by. To create depth, try shooting from the side, as opposed to straight down.

Editing: I don’t like to alter a macro nature photo after it’s been taken. All the details and imperfections make it real. The square 1:1 Instagram crop is a great opportunity to frame creatively. On rare occasions, I’ll apply the Instagram Lux filter to add vibrancy and contrast.

For more iPhone macro tips from Ricky, visit his website. @rickyohead would also like to especially acknowledge his friend and macro mentor, @eyefor.

Video

instameet, tips, video,

Tips for a Great InstaMeet

In just a few short days (8 to be precise!), the 5th Worldwide Instameet will kick off around the globe. Over 350 communities of Instagrammers are planning to get together and go on an adventure. Be sure to get involved over at meetup.com/Instagram.

Organizing your first InstaMeet? Veteran Instagrammer @DocPop shares his tips on how to put together a flawless Instawalk in the video above.

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howishoot, user feature, jumpstagram, tips,

How I Shoot: @daveedgamboa’s Jumpstagrams

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. This week, @daveedgamboa shares his tips for taking & editing his one-man #jumpstagrams.

Camera: Samsung Galaxy Note

Vantage Point: My action shots require a unique setup since I usually go out and shoot alone. I use a normal tripod and attach my Samsung Galaxy Note running Android 4.0. I attach my phone using 3 or 4 rubber bands. I then simply wrap the rubber bands around the galaxy note and the tripod and then voila.

Shooting: I do not use the stock camera on Android, I instead use an app called Camera FV-5 (free “lite” version here). It is a unique app that gives you control over the exposure and white balance and bracketing and loads of other cool stuff that makes your phone almost like a mobile DSLR. I use the 10 second timer on the camera and then run off to jump in the distance.

Editing: Due to the camera I use (and the lack of editing apps on Android) I don’t do any kind of intricate editing processes. I simply assure to get good natural lighting so that editing becomes an easy process and I only use Instagram effects on my photos.

Want to see more? Check out David’s #jumpstagram video tutorial on YouTube. And in case you missed it, check out our own #jumpstagram how-to.