There's a balance that I need to find. I do tend toward gimmicks, wanting something different that will make the mundane interesting. But that's the least charitable view, so I need to ensure that I don't fall into it.

I've been using film again for a little while. It started with wanting to have more tangible photos of my youngest niece, and since then – partly to build my proficiency – I've been using it for other subjects as well. And the more I use it the more I look for opportunities to use it.

I like to hold the camera a little loosely – metaphorically – and allow an opportunity for chance to work in my process. This is why my favourite projects involve long exposures or some other randomizing factor. I set the starting conditions, and curate the results, but that's not where the interesting things happen. It's the mysterious Step Two in the three-step plan to success, the one that's always left blank between having an idea and conquering the world.

Film is a randomizing factor – perhaps partly because of my inexperience with it, but some of it is inherent. I might have the perfect exposure, ideal composition, sublime timing, uneven development, and a scratch across the frame. You never know. And by holding the camera loosely, by not taking blame for imperfection or credit for accomplishments, I can remove some of my self from some of the process. Things can be about what I see, and what I can show, without needing to be about me.

This is why I'm not interested in using film simulations. Emulsions have the imperfect possibility of surprise; emulations applied retroactively do not. To return to my uncharitable tendency, I'd call that a gimmick – trying to find something different that will make the mundane interesting.