Jouissance: noun: physical or intellectual pleasure or delight. For instance that engendered by engaging in the art of taking photographs, of capturing moments, the time spent behind the camera..
The bit I really enjoy about photography, the part that gives me jouissance if you like, is being behind the camera visualising, then framing and taking photographs; walking about, camera in hand, lost in the moment, snapping what comes to me.
From that point of view, digital camera technology provides a high degree of instant gratification in being able to see immediately what I have just taken. This is mixed in with, I have to say, an obstructive measure of technical complexity that allows me never-the-less to snap away to my hearts content. Indeed it encourages me to blast away at all and sundry if I am not careful.
It's what comes later that brings with it the unfortunate digital overload of post processing. It sticks me in front of my iMac for hours on end as I process and refine my pictures. It's just what I don’t need, I have better things to with my day. It's a chore and not at all fun.
Then there is the world of film photography. A discipline that most would consider dead and indeed forgotten - and yet. Being out and about with a 35mm film camera like my Contax G2 slows me down, makes me more considered about what I am photographing.
With only 36 shots per roll and at about £1 a picture for a fully developed and high resolution (tiff) professionally scanned image (this figure includes the original cost of the film) this concentrates my mind a lot. I am also unable to see what I have taken until the results come back, post development and scan, so I concentrate on getting things right first time 'in camera' encouraging me to be a better photographer.
The benefits of this in post are also immense. The hi-res tiff scans that are returned to me need very little processing (usually one pass through Radiant on default settings) and that's it; joy! It is a very different way of working with emphasis back where it belongs being out and about making photographs, giving me the most jouissance.