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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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Berlin, photography, User Feature, hashtag highlight, pink pipes, Instagram, Architecture, infrastructure,

Understanding Berlin’s Pink Pipes with @Berlinstagram

To view more photos and videos of the pink pipes in Berlin, browse the #thatpipeagain hashtag and follow @berlinstagram on Instagram

Berlin is one big swamp—or at least it used to be. Distinctive pink pipes twist through the city to the nearest river or canal. As groundwater levels are very high, this prevents the city from submerging into a giant puddle.

The pipes are designed to withstand shrinkage or breakage in extreme temperatures, and the distinct pink color is the result of a study which found this color is preferred by both youth and older generations who are young at heart. Berlin Instagrammer Michael Schulz (@berlinstagram) created the #thatpipeagain hashtag to capture them. “The pink pipes are quite iconic for Berlin,” he says. “When I first visited the city 20 years ago and came across them, I was fascinated and irritated at once—and those pipes stuck to my mind as a characteristic thing of the city.” Now, people all over Berlin use the hashtag to spark conversation about the pink pipes and capture them from different angles throughout the city.

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photography, news, colorado, photojournalism, animals, User Feature, instagram, matt slaby, salman rushdie, luceo,

Signposts of Culture on an Unconventional Road with @mattslaby

To see more from photojournalist Matt Slaby’s test kitchen of photographic experiments, follow @mattslaby on Instagram.

Matt Slaby (@mattslaby) is a 6-foot-7 colorblind photographer based in Denver who was once told by Salman Rushdie that he was “too tall.” His Instagram photos are populated by spacemen, abandoned nuclear missile silos and fictional stories written for found snapshots.

"The signposts of culture are really set by the outliers and the weirdos," Matt says. He describes Instagram as his "test kitchen" for experimenting, receiving feedback and understanding “how subjects view their own world and what items they are tuned into."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Matt traveled an “unconventional road into the creative world,” working his way through university and law school as a wilderness firefighter and an metropolitan EMT before taking on photography full time—just a month after passing his law exams.

"I love how things take on apparent order when you view them from a macro or micro perspective," he says. "It’s the middle distance that’s confusing, chaotic and kinda absurd."

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photography, fashion, design, art, Paris, tim walker, sofia coppola, Margot Breby, User Feature, Instagram,

Overcoming Shyness with Margot Breby

To see more of Margot’s whimsical photos and videos, follow @margotbreby on Instagram.

For Paris Instagrammer Margot Breby (@margotbreby), her style was always a way out of her shell. “I am very shy, and fashion is a good way to express myself,” she says. “Growing up, I wanted to become a stylist and I drew outfits I dreamed of wearing.”

Margot’s serene, light-soaked Instagram photos have also helped with her shyness. “It brought wonderful people into my life,” she says. “People who became true friends. I never imagined that when I began a year ago.”

Margot’s inspiration comes from eclectic sources, many of whom share her whimsical outlook. “I really love Sofia Coppola’s and Wes Anderson’s movies and Tim Walker’s photography,” she says. “I am also very inspired by other Instagrammers.”

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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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photography, cameras, vintage, Instagram, User Feature, hashtag highlight, medium format,

Looking through #viewfindersofthepast with @littlecoal

For more perspective-bending photos from vintage camera owners around the world, browse the #viewfindersofthepast hashtag. To see more of Eric’s life in Ohio through the lens of his Bosley, follow @littlecoal on Instagram.

When Ohio schoolteacher and Instagrammer Eric Ward (@littlecoal) received an old film camera that had belonged to his wife’s grandfather, the connection was instantaneous. “I immediately fell in love with the glass and the unique feel you get looking down through a viewfinder of that age,” he says. “I imagined all that he had seen through the same viewfinder and wanted to find a way to continue what he had started.”

Eric continues that story on Instagram with his camera, a Bolsey Model C Twin Lens Reflex from the 1950s with a top-down viewfinder. By taking a photo from above with his phone, Eric discovered he could capture two subjects at once: the camera itself and what the camera “sees” through its lens. “For me, it connected the camera’s past with today’s reality,” he says.

He started the #viewfindersofthepast hashtag to keep track of the photos he was taking, and over time it took off in the community. “Others have started to add photos from a variety of other film cameras,” he says, “which I think is perfect!”

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User Feature, Israel, dudi ben simon, art, design, products,

Finding Art in the Everyday with Israel’s @dudibensimon

To view more photos and videos of Dudi’s everyday art, follow @dudibensimon on Instagram

"While sitting on the couch, I saw a pile of bowls on the counter; it looked to me like a sleeve. The next day I took a picture of it,” says Tel Aviv creative director Dudi Ben Simon (@dudibensimon).

Dudi says his inspired by the people and everyday objects around him, such as his niece, a friend with great shoes and a blue-haired coworker. “Since studying history of art at school I was fascinated with what can be made by using objects and daily pieces when they are disconnected from their original use,” he explains.

Often an idea is born “in a matter of minutes,” Dudi says, and adds that he is guided by his feelings towards something with little planning ahead. “A year ago I purchased a plate with a black swan image that I had been dying to take a picture of but couldn’t find an idea,” says Dudi. “One morning, I opened the fridge and in front of me I saw some green beans—I took the photo that second before I left to work. I also take the photos on the same table or hardwood floor. It amazes me how different it turns out every time.”

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art, vintage, crafts, user feature, paper cutouts, Jorge Miranda, Instagram,

The Lives of @yorch_miranda’s Paper Cutouts

To see more scenes from Jorge’s creative mind, follow @yorch_miranda on Instagram.

For Miami filmmaker Jorge Miranda (@yorch_miranda), working with miniature paper dolls provides a refreshing flexibility. “These photos have become for me a faster way to express my ideas with actors that don’t complain and don’t need to get paid,” he says.

"Using objects that we interact with in our daily lives makes it easy for people to understand and relate no matter where they come from," says Jorge, whose whimsical portraits draw inspiration from his film work and creative Instagram communities like @graphic_arts_bnw. “I hope people realize how easy is to have fun with items we see every day.”

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art, portrait, taxidermy, user feature, chipito, instagram,

Bringing Taxidermy Back to Life with @chipito

To see more of Chipito’s surrealist taxidermy scenes, follow @chipito on Instagram.

"Bringing things that are not meant to be together into one image creates a new, disrupted story that hopefully inspires people," says Chipito (@chipito), the anonymous alter ego of two Belgian creative directors.

Chipito’s haunting, surreal photos bring together a love of photography, a desire to explore abandoned locations and a fascination with taxidermy that stretches back 25 years. “Our home is like a giant Wunderkammer,” Chipito explains. “It’s an inexhaustible source of inspiration.”

The jarring masked figures, says Chipito, are supposed to make the viewer feel a sense of unease. “We’ve always been passionate about controversy and curiosities, ” he says. “The ugliness is a reaction against the overdose of beauty in the media, and the masks against the voyeurism of social media and government surveillance.”

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marawa, hula hoop, circus, marawa the amazing, user feature, Instagram, photography,

Circling the Globe with Hula Hoop Champion @marawa the Amazing

For more photos and videos from her hula-hooping adventures around the world, follow @marawa on Instagram.

For Instagrammer Marawa Wamp (@marawa) better known as Marawa the Amazing, hula hooping isn’t just a backyard activity—it’s a way of life.

"I am a professional hula hooper," says Marawa, who lives a nomadic lifestyle traveling, performing and teaching hula hooping around the world. "I studied hoops at circus school—true story—but there wasn’t much of a hooping community back then. It was either hooping in the circus or hooping dancing at a festival, neither of which I really got into. I worked at finding the types of shows and events that I wanted to be a part of and now have established a style that is kind of its own thing."

Marawa’s hooping travels have led her onstage with major musicians, to fashion weeks in London and Paris and even into founding her own junior league, The Majorettes (@themajorettes), who teach classes of their own in London. Marawa also once famously spun 160 hoops simultaneously, breaking a world record.

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photography, chicago, photojournalism, instagram, news, user feature,

Stories from Chicago’s South Side with @jonlowenstein

To see more scenes from daily life on Chicago’s South Side and learn the stories behind the images, follow @jonlowenstein on Instagram.

Photographer Jon Lowenstein (@jonlowenstein) came to Chicago’s South Side on an assignment fifteen years ago and made a home in the poverty-ravaged neighborhood. He began photographing his community with SX-70 and 4x5 film cameras, leaving a trail of Polaroid portraits with his new neighbors who nicknamed him “Photoman”. He transformed vacant apartments within his housing complex into community exhibition spaces called “The Island”, and taught photography classes at a local elementary school.

“When I started the project on the South Side, analog was the only way to go. Nowadays so many people in the ‘hood use Instagram that it is a real way to communicate on a local level, as well as national and international,” Jon says.

He credits his college classmate, David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder), for exposing him to Instagram, where he now pairs images from his neighborhood with the stories behind them. “I believe that the iPhone is the new Polaroid: I love that I can share my thoughts and observations in real time as I do the work. I find this part most satisfying when I can actually talk with people who I don’t know about issues that I cover.”