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Instagram Blog

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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.

From Trash to Treasure: Turning Leftover Wood Into Gorgeous Electric Guitars with @sustainablecomponents

music, guitars, electric guitars, Sustainable Components, Instrumental, guitar making, DeepCuts, photography, instagram, instagram music,

For more of the craftsmanship behind Sal’s electric guitars, check out @sustainablecomponents on Instagram. For more music stories, check out @music.

As part of a film crew shooting at the San Pedro Harbor in Los Angeles, lighting technician Sal Cocuzza (@sustainablecomponents) was struck with the inspiration to make electric guitars and guitar pedals out of reclaimed wood. There he met a longshoreman who introduced him to mounds of leftover wooden beams that were previously inserted between shipping containers and were now for sale in the shipyards. “The wood comes from all over the world,” Sal explains.

Fascinated with the idea that the wooden planks he discovered could be used to make musical instruments, Sal began to design his view of the perfect electric guitar made of reclaimed wood. While unable to identify the exact type of woods used, Sal could determine the musical significance of the wood based on its density, selecting denser wood for the guitar neck and lighter wood for the body. “That is the whole premise. I have all these woods, I could probably only name five of them, but I know where in a guitar each piece will be the best-suited based on its characteristics.”

Sal learned to play guitar as a child, and cites his uncle, who made him a custom guitar when he was a teen, as an inspiration, “I worked with my uncle in a cabinet shop,” he says. “I was really good at it. My grandfather, uncles and my dad all work with their hands.”

In describing the perfect sound for his guitars, Sal explains that he is going for a workingman’s guitar, “It’s not going to sound the same as a true hollow body, but for versatility, it is the average of everything I thought was cool about guitars and what people want.” Sal has also designed his guitar pedals to replicate sounds he likes to play, including California surf and blues rock.

While Sal has dreamed up a list of people that he would like to try out his custom guitars ranging from soul and blues oriented Gary Clark, Jr. to indie rocker Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs, he points to British hard rock band The Cult’s lead guitarist as being on the top of the list, “I would really like Billy Duffy to play one. When I’m making guitars I’ll listen to certain music and it will go into the guitar a little bit.”

–– Instagram @music

A Look Inside the World of Kabuki with @ebizoichikawa.ebizoichikawa

photography, performing arts, culture, makeup, costume, kabuki, Japan, ebizo ichikawa, Takatoshi Horikoshi, user feature, instagram,

To see more of Ebizo’s Kabuki photos and videos, follow @ebizoichikawa.ebizoichikawa on Instagram. For an in-depth look into Ebizo’s ongoing performance, tune in next week to @instagramjapan.

(This interview was conducted in Japanese.)

Being a samurai, a princess, a red-horned demon, a husband and a father all in a day is the typical life of 37-year-old Japanese Kabuki actor Takatoshi Horikoshi, who succeeds the stage name Ebizo Ichikawa XI (@ebizoichikawa.ebizoichikawa) from one of the most prestigious houses of Kabuki actors in Japan. Between his time applying thick layers of stage makeup and the playtime with his two children, Ebizo is always looking for ways to open up the centuries-old Japanese performing arts to the global community. “I want people around the world to see my Kabuki photos,” he says. “I’m hoping to show more details of my work through videos, too.”

By sharing images of the characters he acts, and the selfies taken moments before or after his daily performances, Ebizo aims to convey the true essence of Kabuki. “I want people to notice the colors,” he points out. “The basic Kabuki makeup consists of white, red and black, which are very vivid and beautiful, even when seen from afar.” He also highlights the exquisite makeup techniques, the traditional costumes and the overall aesthetics iconic of Japan. “I want people to know that these are a part of the Japanese make-up culture.”

Ebizo admits that it’s not always easy to connect with an international audience, especially given the language barriers. However, he believes that the more images he can share from his daily life, the more he can educate. “I sometimes hear stories of renowned talents from other countries gaining their inspiration from Japanese culture,” says Ebizo. “Many of those things have their roots in Kabuki, and I want to tell the world more about it.”

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPwindy

photography, weekend hashtag project, WHPwindy, wind, instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and 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.

The goal this weekend is to capture creative photos and videos of something invisible — the wind. Some tips to get you started:

  • We see wind only by its effects. From the way a light breeze ripples curtains or a strong wind bends tree branches, keep an eye out for wind’s telltale marks.
  • No wind? No problem. Seek out a fan to create some wind of your own and — since you’re in control — stage a scene.
  • If you’re filming a video, wind can also create a lot of harsh sound. Try to find ways to shield the phone’s microphone from direct wind while you shoot, but you can always remove the audio entirely before you post.

PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPwindy hashtag only to photos and videos taken this weekend and only submit your own photographs and videos to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged image or video taken this weekend is eligible to be featured Monday morning.

Telling It Like It Is with @davidalanharvey

photography, photojournalism, documentary, national geographic, magnum, david alan harvey, tell it like it is, user feature, instagram,

To see more photos from photojournalist David Alan Harvey, follow @davidalanharvey on Instagram.

“I don’t need any reasons to take pictures. I just enjoy life a little bit better when I’m making photographs,” says esteemed photojournalist David Alan Harvey (@davidalanharvey). David discovered his calling as a photographer at the age of 12 on a camping trip in in Virginia. “I just suddenly knew that from that moment forward I would never ever go anywhere without the camera.”

For nearly 60 years, the camera hasn’t left David’s side as he has traveled around the world on assignment for magazines like National Geographic. Throughout it all, David’s intimate and unfiltered style is a constant. His images are personal, playful and imbued with a child-like fascination with the details of daily life. Whether it’s swimming with the Haenyeo free divers of Jeju Island or playing beach games in Rio de Janeiro, David likens his approach to that of a method actor. Without restraint he steeps himself in the distinct cultures of the people he photographs. “That’s what I do. I get all wrapped up,” he says. “I’m living their life with them.”

Sad Can Be Rad with @teeteeheehee’s Embroidery

photography, fashion, art, artists on tumblr, embroidery, artists on instagram, cross-stitch, teeteeheehee, Teresa Lim, instagram,

To see more of Teresa’s embroidery, follow @teeteeheehee on Instagram.

For Teresa Lim (@teeteeheehee), each tiny cross-stitch portrait in the series she calls “Sad Girls Club” tells the story of a woman she knows who went through a tough time. “I wanted to capture the sadness and turn it into something else,” says Teresa, an artist who lives in Singapore. “When I look at my finished embroidery products, I think, ‘Sad can be pretty rad, too.’ I love taking photos of my creative journey and process in hopes I can inspire others too.”

Teresa also illustrates her trips through embroidery in a series she calls “Sew Wanderlust” — the equivalent of cross-stitch postcards to her followers. “Instead of taking photos of my travels, I embroider them to fully capture details and be present,” she says. “I love doing embroidery and I travel quite a fair bit, so it only made sense to me to combine these two in my work.”

Visiting Montreal’s Mural Festival with @christianguemy

photography, street art, mural art, stencil art, mural festival, montreal, christian guémy, @christianguemy, whereartthou, murals, instagram,

For more street art, follow @christianguemy on Instagram and explore the Mural Festival location page.

“Street art provides dreamy evasions and allows people to feel emotions when walking the streets instead of walking in a standardized cold city,” says Christian Guémy (@christianguemy). The Paris-based stencil artist, who goes by the name C215, has been vivifying urban landscapes with his ultra-colored portraits for the past 10 years. “I can portrait anybody from anonymous to celebrities,” says Christian.

This week’s #whereartthou is in the streets of Montreal at the MURAL International Public Art Festival (@muralfestival) where Christian, among other renowned visual artists, is showcasing his work. From now through June 14, visitors of the festival can explore major murals transforming Saint-Laurent Boulevard and its surroundings, enjoy a variety of performances or participate in workshops and special events. But don’t worry if you can’t make it to Montreal this week: all the artwork will stay up for another year.

Turning Instant Photographs into Surreal Collages with @andrewjmillar

photography, art, Polaroid, instant film, impossible project, collage, collage art, mixed media, andrew j millar, @andrewjmillar, london, instagram,

To see more of Andrew’s delicately composed collages, follow @andrewjmillar on Instagram.

“I’ve worked with original Polaroid SX-70 cameras since I was a teenager and have quite a collection now,” admits Andrew J. Millar (@andrewjmillar). The 31-year-old artist from London creates mixed media collages by assembling instant photographs – from one to over 100 pieced together – and taking an instant photograph of the final composition.

“Instant film is interesting because there are many different manipulation techniques that can be applied,” he says. Andrew’s preferred altering techniques include emulsion lifts, where a Polaroid is soaked in hot water until the top emulsion layer floats off of the backing and is transferred and manipulated to a new surface. As well as double exposures, where you trick the camera into releasing the shutter twice exposing two different images in a single Polaroid. Lately, Andrew started adding to his creative process: He applies layers of paint or gold leaf to the final instant photo before digitally enlarging the artwork to be screen-printed.

Sneakers, Supercars and Super Soakers with Texas Rapper @knscry

music, rap, hip hop, knscry, Knesecary, clinton williams, graphic design, locally sourced, photography, instagram, instagram music,

To see more of Knesecary’s photos, check out @knscry on Instagram. For more music stories, check out @music.

“Sleep is for the dead guys,” says Clinton Williams, better known as Knesecary (@knscry), on his 2012 EP, “Righteous.” Words to live by. The 30-year-old unsigned emcee has his hands in a little bit of everything: music production, graphic design, photography. Lately, it’s the latter that’s drawn his attention. He prefers snapping photos of supercars, sneakers and the occasional Super Soaker.

“I’ve loved photography since I was a youngin’,” says the Dallas, Texas native, who is currently at work on his new record. “I don’t know if you remember the little Playskool cameras that you get as a kid –– I used to have one of those and pretended I was taking pictures like it was [the movie] City of God or something. That was probably when I was seven or eight years old.”

Knesecary’s photos and rhymes have grown hand-in-hand ever since. The mediums are different but the end goal is the same: show the people something new, different and unexpected.

“I just want to be a breath of fresh air,” he says.

–– Instagram @music

Connecting with Beauty in the Broken with @finalnotice

photography, Texas, Cars, Architecture, usa, americana, user feature, Casey Kopecky, instagram,

To see more images by Casey and her Instagram community, follow @finalnotice, and browse the hashtag #finallynoticed.

“My Texas is just the way my eyes see my world,” says Casey Kopecky (@finalnotice), a full-time preschool manager, a part-time photographer, and a lifelong Texan. “There’s no right or wrong. I’m just enamored with this great state and her stories. It’s where I grew up. My home. It brings me great comfort and satisfaction to share it with those who may never step foot on Texas soil, or, in some cases, open up the eyes to someone who is native and have become numb to what it has to tell.” She explains the distressed objects that populate her pictures, saying, “I viewed myself that way. A little damaged, quiet and off to the corner. It was simply me finding my identity in things, places or scenes. Now, having shed the intensity of those feelings I once had for myself, I still find time to visit that part of me through my images.”

Casey adds, “#finallynoticed is a tag I created (a fun play off my username) a couple years back to explore what other people were witnessing in their world. Honestly, it was just a chance to connect with those who saw beauty in the broken.”

Sharing Visions of Toronto with @visionelie

photography, elie kimbembe, toronto, canada, toronto photography, young artist, young photographer, canadian photography, hellomynameis,

For more cityscapes from Elie’s life and travels, follow @visionelie on Instagram.

“#Hellomynameis Elie Kimbembe (@visionelie). I’m a 21-year-old artist specializing in photography and design from Toronto. My style is everything and everyone in my environment.

I was born in Congo and moved to Canada when I was a child, so traveling has always been something that’s influenced my life. It’s weird, but I’ve somehow found ways to find good photo opportunities everywhere I go — whether it’s cool architecture or my good-looking friends.

When I see something that sparks my interest visually I always try to capture and share it the way it is. I like to show the people and things I admire most. I want to be versatile in every way possible, and to master all aspects of making something out of nothing.”