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#fourpartpoems with @emolabs

For more photos from Tony’s life and poetry, follow @emolabs on Instagram.

For Texas Instagrammer Tony Ciampa (@emolabs), Instagram serves as a place where images and creative writing come together as a form of self-expression.

After moving to Texas from his native Boston, Massachusetts, Tony took to Instagram to make friends and build a community of his own—and his photos reflect their adventures together. It wasn’t until later when his experiments in poetry began.

"It was a Saturday night, and a girl I was having a fling with wasn’t texting me back, so I was just sitting out on a hill that overlooks the skyline drinking a beer. It felt like this quintessential moment in the life of a young adult, so I wrote down what was in my head, took a photo and posted it," Tony explains. "It was the first poem I’d written since high school, so it was really cool for me to see people respond positively to it." With that post, Tony’s #fourpartpoems series was born, and he’s posted a poem every day since.

As for his aesthetic, handwritten poems photographed in front of sweeping landscapes, Tony cites another artist on Instagram for the initial inspiration. “I follow @lidiagulyas on Instagram, and the photo style comes from her. She does a lot of hand lettering and in one of her photos from a few months ago she had written the phrase ‘I want you’ in a notebook and held it out in front of an out of focus cityscape. It was so moody and really stuck with me.”

Tony writes all of the poems himself, first pouring out his emotions from the day through free writing, then distilling out his rhymes from there. “In my mind,” he says “that keeps the emotion as authentic as possible.” He then embellishes them with line drawings and sets up his photo before dusk, his self-imposed deadline for posting his work.

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Hunting for Colors, Shadows and Reflections in Los Angeles with @sara_cath

For more of Sara’s portraits, follow @sara_cath on Instagram.

"I’ve been drawn to color and shape since a very young age. I grew up believing the best thing about school is art class and the best thing about going to stayaway camp was getting to shoot photos on a disposable camera," says Los Angeles photographer Sara Catherine Pierce (@sara_cath).

"I’ve found that I have an affinity for those three things in photography: color, shadow and reflection. I use these to highlight what I find dear to me in my every day life," she says. Often, Sara turns to her friends for her photos, snapping colorful portraits of @clickinkris, @qualiitea, @keeegman and others in Los Angeles.

"An introspective portrait can be taken anywhere if draped in beautiful light and if the color surrounding pops," she says. "Color coordination makes me giddy. I’ve been squealing a lot these days when I find a particular shade of teal to photograph!" To catalog her shadow photos, Sara also started a series of shadow portraits with the #hishadowhi hashtag.

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Chasing Toy Planes with @vnthota

For more of Varun’s photos, browse the #mytoyplane hashtag and follow @vnthota on Instagram.

As the son of a helicopter pilot, Macau Instagrammer Varun Thota (@vnthota) developed an early love for flying. “I used to play Microsoft’s Flight Simulator for hours and even used it to train for my mock pilot’s certificate as a kid,” Varun remembers.

Now in his late twenties, Varun is still simulating flight patterns but has taken to Instagram to explore his fascination with aviation in a series he calls #mytoyplane. “I decided to start the series when my dad picked up a limited edition Kinder Egg chocolate pack, which included five Airbus A330s inside them,” says Varun. Drawing inspiration from the #putaplaneonit hashtag, Varun adds, “A lot of the photos using that hashtag are quite amazing and it was interesting to see how people even blended in photos of planes with insane backgrounds. I wanted to do something similar, and the idea of using the perfectly sized Kinder Egg planes with someone holding it to add perspective was what I decided to try.”

The results are an imaginative set of photographs that playfully weave viewers through skyscrapers, city streets and the Macau countryside. When it comes to choosing his locations, Varun says, “I try to pick them when I feel they are realistic enough to have actual planes fly over or by them, so this is usually over resident buildings or estates. One of my favorites is looking up through a fire exit ladder.”

More than anything, what Varun looks forward to about the #mytoyplane series, and Instagram in general, is the relationship building: “The thing I enjoy most about the series is how fun it is to include other people in it. It’s always fun to show people the plane, tell them the story and then ask them for a helping hand in taking the shot.”

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Announcing Worldwide InstaMeet 9: May 17-18

For more information on how to find a group of Instagrammers near you, visit meetup.com/Instagram and be sure to keep an eye on our InstaMeets page.

The dates are set for the next Worldwide InstaMeet! On May 17-18, join fellow Instagrammers around the world to celebrate #WWIM9. We’re announcing a month in advance to give you lots of time to plan or find an event in your area. Pick a time, a location, a unique hashtag and invite your Instagram friends to come along for a day of making photos and videos! For a really large meet-up, team up with a few other organizers and announce the event to your communities together on your Instagram feeds.

If you need a little inspiration, take a look at past InstaMeets and check out the Behind the InstaMeet series for practical tips on organizing a meet-up of your own!

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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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A Peek into the Life of a Tibetan Monk with @gdax

For a peek into the daily life of Tibetan monk དགེ་འདུན་དབང་ཕྱུག (Gedun Wangchuk), follow @gdax on Instagram.

དགེ་འདུན་དབང་ཕྱུག, or Gedun Wangchuk, (@gdax) is a Buddhist monk living in Tibet, where he uses Instagram to share scenes from his daily life atop one of the highest locations on earth. The region boasts an average elevation of 4,900 meters (16,000 feet) and is home to some of the world’s tallest mountains, including Mount Everest at the Nepal border to the southwest.

"Mankind shares and lives on planet Earth as one family with each continent having its own different nationalities, religions, faith, customs, unique culture and languages. But aside from such differences, we all have the same common desire for happiness," Gedun says. "That’s why Instagram, as a window to this global family, is a joy."

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InstaMeet Roundup | 13

Are you participating in an InstaMeet soon? We want to hear about it! Tell us more here.

Since the earliest days of Instagram, people have been meeting up offline and forming real-life friendships. In only the past few weeks, Instagrammers from all around the world—places as diverse as Brazil, Germany, China, Russia and South Africa—have come together to connect and inspire one another. In Japan, a coordinated InstaMeet took place across three different cities (#sakurasaku_mwjp), and dozens of people traveled 100km for a meet-up at Sun Temple in Ahmedabad, India (#igaroadtrip).

To see photos and videos of people meeting up all across the globe, browse the hashtags from these InstaMeets:

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Instagrammers Capture Coachella

For more photos and videos from the festival, follow @coachella and @coachellaastronaut on Instagram and explore Coachella’s location pages: Coachella, Main Stage and Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. You can also browse the #coachella hashtag.

Last weekend and again next weekend, music fans head to Indio, California, for the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (@coachella). There, against a backdrop of desert sunsets and an iconic ferris wheel, up-and-coming performers and established acts alike will take the stage. To see Coachella from the perspective of the performers, follow these artists on Instagram:

This year’s festival will also feature the Coachella Astronaut (@coachellaastronaut), a roaming art installation created for Coachella by Poetic Kinetics (@poetickinetics), a group of artists based in Los Angeles.

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Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPbokehinmotion

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s tag was #WHPbokehinmotion, which asked participants to take a creative video using bokeh: the blurred part of an image that’s out of focus. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

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#WhoIFollow: Japan’s @koshi_another_side

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from Koshi and his favorites, follow @koshi_another_side, @chikuwa91 and @laylah on Instagram.

For Japanese Instagrammer Koshi Nishijima (@koshi_another_side), the natural landscapes around his hometown of Fukuoka serve as his inspiration for photography. “My favorite place to shoot is Aso Kujū National Park. You can find valleys, wetlands, volcanos and grasslands with grazing animals, as well as a long strip of road that runs straight through all of this nature. It’s often quite foggy there and even icy in the winter, which brings out the mood,” he explains. He enjoys exploring nature with friends he’s met through Instagram, trying out different ideas to create surreal scenes. “I don’t shoot just to share pretty images. What I want to share is the moment and the ambiance of the time I spend with great people in my favorite places to shoot,” he says.

Koshi also experiments with his iPhone camera. “If the focus and exposure is just right, you can get very clear images and even create bokeh.” He then edits his photos based on his impression of the moment.

Looking for more natural scenes from Japan? Follow some of Koshi’s favorite Instagrammers:

  • @chikuwa91: “His work is so unique and always gives me a pleasant surprise. We go shooting together a lot, but it feels like he’s capturing things in a completely different demension.”
  • @laylah: “Her photos are just plain cool. I don’t know any other girl who takes such edgy photos.”