PHOTO-ASSIGNMENT 01: Shoot From The Hip | Zen Camera By David Ulrich

Read: Starting A New Challenge – Zen Camera | David Ulrich

Constraints Of The Assignment:

  • Shoot without looking through the viewfinder. For convenience, tape shut the viewfinder and put your camera on Program/ Automatic Mode and use Auto-Focus.
  • Respond to the subject freely and intuitively by shooting “from the hip” or while walking.
  • Take photographs by raising your camera up to chest level or pointing from the side, from the hip, or even over your head. But don’t, at any point look through the viewfinder or labor over precise framing. Don’t worry if horizons are not straight or your photographs are tilted.

Read: Creativity Thrives On Constraints.

Purpose Of The Assignment:

  • To achieve loose spontaneity of composition and reveal the tightness, rigidity, and constraint of our usual framing.
  • The chance juxtapositions and random intrusions into the frame are often surprisingly more interesting and effective than what our careful eye and rational mind could devise on their own. When we go back to looking through the viewfinder, we will be able to integrate the expressive power of these loose, random elements in the frame.
  • We may discover a way of working that relies on intuition and the naturalness of the unconscious, rather than the slower analytical thought.

If you plan to do these assignments, I highly insist that you get yourself a copy of ZEN CAMERA to fully understand what each assignment is actually about. I provide only the outline in my blog-articles.


Duration: 1 December, 2020 – 7 December 2020.

Location: Baro Mandir Ghat Panihati. (Google Map:

Photographs From The Assignment:

My Experience:

I found it really hard to resist the urge to look through the viewfinder while starting this assignment. I was always consumed with the fear that I am going to miss great frames. Eventually, it became easier in the course of 7 days. I spent an hour each day shooting without seeing through the viewfinder, after which I would start shooting as usual. I clearly did see a huge shift in the way I was framing images. Previously, I used to focus on a single subject while taking a photograph. However, during this exercise, I naturally started integrating two or three elements into the frame.