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While most people’s Instagram photos show a hodgepodge of breakfast delights, architecture, and babies, AP’s chief Asia photographer David Guttenfelder has been documenting life in North Korea after being granted the ability to work in the “Hermit Kingdom.” While the title of “Instagram Photographer of the Year” elicits a notion of whimsy, in TIME‘s own words “we see the spectral emptiness of Pyongyang’s Orwellian city blocks, the hushed quiet of passengers in buses, the coiled patterns of a carpet in an otherwise non-descript waiting room. The photos that end up on Guttenfelder’s Instagram feed are often ones he says wouldn’t have a home elsewhere—of the margins of a scene, of objects cast in still-life.” You can keep up with Guttenfelder’s photographic exploits at his official account.

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