Exploring Middle Earth on Instagram
To see more photos and videos from Hobbiton, explore the Middle Earth location page.
Ever since English author J.R.R. Tolkien first published his fantasy novel, The Hobbit, in 1937, readers around the world have been enchanted by the sprawling landscapes of Middle Earth. Nearly seventy years later in 2001, director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film series brought Tolkien’s world to life on the silver screen. With much of the film shot in New Zealand, the country has come to be known as the “Home of Middle Earth.”
Over 250 locations throughout New Zealand were used in the production of the films, taking full advantage of the diversity in the country’s landscape. From expansive fields and lush farmlands to snow-capped mountains, New Zealand’s features opened ample opportunities to make Middle Earth real.
With the release of The Hobbit film series, the sets from Hobbiton—home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins—have been reconstructed and are open to tourists. Instagrammers from around the world have come to explore and share photos and videos from their time in Tolkien’s world.
Photographing New York City from Above with @wrongrob
To view more photos and videos from a bird’s-eye perspective of New York, follow @wrongrob on Instagram
Rob Masao McCarthy (@wrongrob) is a father of three in Brooklyn, New York. Outside of his day job as a freelance digital media consultant and photographer, Rob gets his thrills scaling New York City’s tallest bridges, trams, roofs and skyscrapers to shoot the city from above.
"I first developed an interest in photography shooting street portraits of the people of New York City. Then I realized that I was really interested in the city itself as a subject," he says. "I discovered that the higher up and further away I got, the more the immense city was reduced to shapes, lines and angles. There is a peace and universality in that geometry that I really like. Somehow it makes the city more human."
Want to refine the compositions of your cityscapes? Here are Rob’s tips:
- Pay attention to depth of field in your frame. Try to include a distinct foreground, middle ground and background, which helps create a sense of scale and distance. A mix of different building heights helps too.
- Look for an interesting street angle within the buildings that will draw your viewers into the photo. Avoid shooting straight in front of you and placing the primary subject in the middle of the frame.
- To add atmosphere and mood to cityscape shots, shoot on cloudy or rainy days. Hard, bright light is not your friend!
- I am always safe and law-abiding, of course, but if you’re trying to get to a building’s upper levels, skip the elevator and look for the stairs. You’ll be surprised where you end up.
#HowIShoot: Photographing Reflections on Water with @mattglastonbury
How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo and video-taking processes. This week, Tasmanian Instagrammer @mattglastonbury shares his tips for taking water reflection shots.
As well as being one of the most prolific InstaMeet organizers on the planet, Tasmanian Instagrammer Matt Glastonbury (@mattglastonbury) is a master of photographing reflections on water. One of Matt’s favorite subjects to shoot with his Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone are the reflections on the surface of the River Derwent near his home, which he catalogs with the #liquidography hashtag. “We have a clear view of the sunset, Mount Wellington and the river from our lounge room window, so when there is a colorful sundown, we usually head down and find some calm waters to shoot from.”
To learn more about how to shoot a great water reflection photo like Matt, read his tips below:
Camera: Nokia Lumia 1020
- Tap the screen to lock the focus on the brightest part of your scene so you don’t over-expose the sky.
- Use a waterproof case and turn your device upside-down to get the lens as close to the surface as possible
- Mind the weather. Calmer days make for the best reflections and sunrise or sunset make for the most colorful scenes.
- Use rapid-fire (burst mode) if your handset supports it, then pick out your favorites.
For even more tips on how to shoot with the Nokia Lumia 1020, check out these tutorials.
Tokyo Skytree from @naomi0326’s Balcony
When Tokyo Instagrammer Naomi Nakazaki (@naomi0326) moved into her new apartment, she not only gained a new place to live, but also a fantastic view of the Tokyo Skytree right outside her balcony. It was not long before Naomi began to direct her passion for photography to the new landmark tower, taking snapshots of the Skytree at different times of the day to create a dynamic series. “I would try to wake up before dawn every morning and take pictures at daybreak,” she says. “I feel sleep deprived all of the time because of this.”
Naomi also likes the view at night when the Tokyo Skytree is lit up, but her favorite moment is when the lights go out every night at 11PM. “I like the softness and airiness of that moment,” she explains.
Want to capture a favorite landmark in your hometown? Here are some tips from Naomi:
- Look out for the changes in the sky. One cloud can completely change the expression of the scene.
- For something big like the Tokyo Skytree, try to capture the scene so that it looks high and wide within the square frame.
- Aim for the perfect angle—when taking pictures on your phone, the slightest angle can hugely affect the colors you can capture.
Halloween Inspiration from Makeup Artists on Instagram
Happy Halloween! Today, Many Instagrammers from around the world will be sharing photos and videos from the spookiest day of the year. If you want to take your costume to the next level, check out these great makeup artists on Instagram for inspiration:
Soaring the Skies with Wingsuits on Instagram
For a group of brave souls who’ve dreamt of soaring through the air, wingsuits have turned that dream into a reality. Wingsuit flying uses a special jumpsuit—called a birdman suit, flying squirrel suit or bat suit—that has fabric stretched between the legs and under the arms to create lift, allowing the wearer to fly.
The first known wingsuit was used by Rex G. Finney, a 19-year-old from Los Angeles, California, in 1930. Early wingsuits were made of materials such as canvas, wood, silk, steel and even whale bone, and were not very reliable. In 1999, the first commercial wingsuit was made available to the general public and the sport took off. A number of enthusiasts have taken to Instagram to share photos and videos from their flights. Want to go along for the ride? Follow these flyers on Instagram: