Browsing the daily batch of editor picks at http://flickr.com/explore it is easy to scroll through in search of images that strike an emotional chord, resonant with something unarticulated, or feeling the spark of recognition that something important is conveyed.
So why does it matter that we make and seek images? There are many motivations, but they seem to share a desire to uncover something new: either a scene from a place never visited or subject unfamiliar, or more abstractly, to learn something true that was hidden or unreachable until the light and composition framed the matter just so. Perhaps a simple pleasure in delighting in texture, pattern, color and other elements of composition is reason enough to matter; to satisfy a certain hunger for things tangible in the present or historically, thanks to old photos. In sum, the search for beautiful places, things, people, events and so on matters because it moves us. Like the word roots of e+motion, emotion, an expressive moment has the power to show us something we did not know or see until then; or to remind of something we already knew but had forgotten.