On Sunday, the 2014 Winter Olympics officially came to a close. Over the past two weeks athletes from 88 different countries competed in Sochi, Russia, before thousands of fans. Spectators and athletes alike captured some of Sochi 2014’s finest moments, from The Opening Ceremony to life in the Olympic village and from the events themselves to, finally, the Closing Ceremony. The Closing Ceremony celebrated Russia’s rich artistic heritage, with references to Kandinsky and Chagall, music by Rachmaninoff, Rubinstein, and Vladimir Horowitz, as well as Ballet from the Bolshoi. As the games came to an end, Sochi officially passed the torch to South Korea for 2018.
Looking Down on the World from Mont Blanc’s Aiguille du Midi
To see more photos and videos from atop the French Alps, visit the Aiguille du Midi location page.
In the Mont Blanc region of the French Alps sits a skyward-reaching peak called the Aiguille du Midi. The peak’s name translates as “Needle of Noon" because, when viewed from the French town of Chamonix, it acts as a natural sundial.
Adventure seekers can easily ascend the precipitous mountain thanks to the Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi, a cable car built in 1955 that makes a 9,209ft (2,807m) climb to the peak. Until recently, the Aiguille summit was home to a viewing platform, café and gift shop. In December 2013, however, a glass box called “Step Into the Void” opened to the public, offering thrill-seekers the opportunity to step out above a drop of 3,395ft (1,035m).
To see more of Kei’s breakfast photos, follow @keiyamazaki on Instagram.
For Tokyo Instagrammer Kei Yamazaki (@keiyamazaki), breakfast has been a passion and a daily ritual all her life. The meal is so essential to her life, when Kei first came onto Instagram nothing was more natural than to share her homemade breakfasts with the world. Now, after gathering a substantial following, Kei’s exquisite morning meals have inspired others to appreciate their love of food and breakfasts in particular.
Every morning, Kei spends anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour preparing whatever she feels like eating that day. Most days, she enjoys a one-plate, Western style breakfast consisting of pancakes, waffles or breads topped with fresh fruits or vegetables. This is accompanied by eggs, salad and a cup of handmade vegetable soup. “I try to keep a balance within the plate. For example: sweet and salty, heavy and light, as well as having a good mix of colors,” explains Kei. “But most importantly, I try not to go beyond the boundaries of ‘breakfast.’ I cook whatever I like, but I don’t want to get too fancy and overdo it.” Kei’s favorite breakfast meal is French toast, but she says many of her followers seem to like the freshly made pancakes, especially with strawberry toppings.
Kei started out her series of breakfast photos by capturing the plate from above using her iPhone, a signature style in which she still continues. Kei uses natural lighting and reveals that she enjoys using the Lo-Fi filter for a lot of her shots to maintain consistency throughout her account.
Just a day after the launch of Instagram Direct, New York City saw one of the first substantial snowfalls of this winter. Undeterred by the cold, a few intrepid Instagrammers decided to celebrate the snow by meeting up under the Manhattan Bridge.
As the snow began, NYC Instagrammer Danielle (@mimizinne) sent a video of herself walking through Prospect Park in the snow to a group of her friends with Instagram Direct. Her caption: “Bundle up guys. It’s cold outside.” In the span of a few minutes, the conversation around her video turned to ideas of getting together—and within a few hours, they had all gathered under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo. As Danielle explains, “For a lot of the people, I don’t have their phone numbers. It was a way to reach out to a bunch of people who I know through Instagram.” People on the thread invited their friends in turn, bringing together a group of new people excited about the beautiful snow in their city.