Entry #01: The Disappearance of Moonling

Composition techniques:

  1. Rule of thirds
  2. Leading lines
  3. Strong diagonals
  4. Point of view
  5. Framing
  6. Simplify
  7. Depth of field
  8. Strong foreground
  9. Fill frame
  10. Active space


My attempt for class activity:


Umbrella in the Field

|| Strong diagonals, active space ||


Project 1 research:


If I suddenly disappeared while doing my everyday chores, what would the world look like without me in that instant?

What a peculiar (and slightly depressing) question to ponder about.


In this project, there were two main things to be taken care of:

  1. Content
  2. Composition

I decided that it was a wiser choice to start thinking about content first.

Content: What objects tell others about myself?


Recalling what we learned about semiotics in the first lesson, I decided to first scope some life themes and then do some research on symbolism and allegory for them.

The life themes that I found included:

Family, friends, community, knowledge, nature, growth, time. solitude, and recreation.




Below are some symbolism/allegories that I have found for these themes:


Family- Tree (life, origin, family, nature)

Workload, responsibilities- bag pack

Knowledge – books, glasses

Time – clock, calendar, road (passage of time)

Growth/Youth- Tree, playground


I decided to mix these symbolic subjects up with subject matter that was both important and personal to me and below is the list of ideas that I came up with:


Music – piano, earpieces

My past (specifically band)

Every day things – lrt gantry

Knowledge – book at lib/ glasses

Love for nature – botanical gardens, community garden

Time – clock/calendar/road

My love for solitude/privacy/self-reflection – diary, room (yes, with the cluttered floor and everything), mirror

Creation – my 3D hw/tablet/sketchbook/bunch of drawings/art tools

Growth – Tree (family, origins),

Community, youth – playground


Losing my identity as I go through life (WTF SO DEEP b0SS)

No longer there physically


Clouds – transience






Theme of Art: Leaving art materials behind, indicative of my hobby of creating artworks. Attempted a fill-frame of the things in my box of art materials.
Theme of Friendship: Disappearing in the midst of having a meal with my friends. Attempted using strong diagonals.
Theme of Community: This garden is a community garden, where many residents contribute to the healthy plantation here as they similarly do to the vibrancy of the community.
Theme of Identity: In the moment of disappearance, I drop my IC on the floor of the train station right at the gantry. The gantry is meant to represent a crossing into another place (presumably some other dimension after I disappear) and the IC is my identity.
Theme of Knowledge: Books and glasses are symbols of knowledge. Since school has been a large part of my life, knowledge that I have gained throughout the years would be something that I would leave behind. I attempted using Depth of Field here.
Theme of Music: Playing the piano has been one of my childhood hobbies (admittedly quite abandoned now) but in the moment of disappearance, the piano keys are still being pressed down. I attempted to use Depth of Field here.
Theme of Youth: For me, the playground has been a very nostalgic place where I used to frequent when I was a child. I attempted to use a strong foreground here.
Theme of Music: In my free time, I enjoy making covers of Japanese songs (or any songs that I liked at that time) in private.
Theme of Growth: The path represents a journey, as I disappear on the journey, I leave my bagpack behind which represents the responsibilities that I carry with me. The trees around are a symbol of growth and nature. I attempted using leading lines but my subject matter was too small ;v;
Theme of Growth



Those were cool and all, but they didn’t tell a story.

Why my pictures didn’t make the cut:

  1. There was too much background such that the background of the photos became my subject.
  2. There was too little subject matter. I only had a single subject for most of the photos.

It wasn’t until I consulted XM for help and after receiving my 2D Project 2 that I had an epiphany of what I could add into my photograph.

The advice I received about telling a story and juxtaposition. Focusing on the photo of me disappearing while making a cover, I could tell a more elaborate narrative about myself.

New narrative (this is really personal??):

(has to link back to the whole disappearing thing and what I left behind)

Ever since I was in primary school, I discovered anime (Japanese animated series) which really helped me to tide over a difficult period in my life (and has largely guided me on the path that I am on today). With each new series I watched, I enjoyed printing out the lyrics of the openings and endings of the new series and singing along to them. This hobby of mine developed even further when I discovered the vocaloid subculture in secondary school (yes, it’s all pretty complicated) whereby tons of creators from all around the globe could use these voice programmes to make their own songs, so you could imagine how massively huge my song collection got. I had begun learning how to make covers on my own of these songs using SUPER basic software and hardware such as Audacity and a simple Logitech microphone. I really enjoyed this hobby of mine but I never really had the audacity (oh no, unintended pun) to step out of my comfort zone and actually do singing (although I had band background). I’d watch my classmates go on school talent competitions in awe and admiration (even now).


SoOOOoO that was a pretty long but very personal story for me (even my parents don’t know 8’D). So I wanted to take a photo which conveyed a scene of me silently wanting to pursue this hobby further but always simply continuing to karaoke to myself, with myself in my bedroom, and never stepping outside of my comfort zone. When I disappear in the middle of my (almost daily) karaoke sessions, I leave behind all of these emotions behind as well.

Subject matter:

My aim is to juxtapose the razzle-dazzle of singing on stage and the contentment of singing in my bedroom.

Instead of using the condenser mic in the previous photo I took, I decided to use a dynamic mic (that my family happens to have for some reason) because it is more commonly used by singers on stage, compared to condenser mics which are used in studios for recording, which implies a sense of isolation from everyone when singing. Also, it was a more easily identifiable symbol of the act of singing.

This is paired with red bed-sheets (to simulate the red curtains of a stage) and colourful lights so it could value-add to the whole flashy theatricality of singing on stage. I am also including a black jacket (which I presumably threw “on-stage” before I disappeared) because my favourite rock singer always wears a jacket/hoodie.

Pertaining to the contentment of singing with contentment in the comfort of my own bedroom, I am including my bed (of course), stuff toys as an imaginary audience, anime posters stuck on the wall to indicate my preferred music genre.

With these subject matter, I will be attempting to take shots using the various techniques of composition that I have learned.



I decided to use this photo as my final because I managed to capture most of my subject matter into the photo. I attempted to use a strong diagonal of my bed as well instead of a flat, horizontal stage which looks a bit boring. The blue lighting (projected from my little brother’s toy car and white lighting creates the mood of a concert (and a KTV room maybe). Big Bird also looks like he’s having the time of his life.
--End of Post--

Author: Tan Yue Ling

Moving is hard but stagnation is harder!

Leave a Reply