I love looking at photographs. I look at them with a critical photographer's eye, thinking what I would have done to make them a better or more interesting picture. I look at them in awe, as I'm only an amateur photographer. I look at them as motivation to go out and take better pictures. They make me want to be a better photographer.
Many photos are simply a tribute to nature or the photographer (or both). I love pictures of nature and wildlife.
Many photos record life, which then becomes history. Whether it's family history or history on a larger scale, pictures save, for us, that moment in time that we simply want to remember or preserve for future generations.
In this day in age, many photos have been digitally enhanced or manipulated. Even though these don't represent pure photography (in my book), they can still be enjoyable to view. The creativity and skill are worth admiring.
But for me, there's more to most photographs. I love looking at photographs because of the story that is represented. There's something to the sayings, "every picture tells a story" or "a picture is worth a thousand words." And as I gaze at a photograph - any photo - I can't help but wonder what the story is.
I peruse a few different photo sites each day, just to look at the pictures. There are some amazing photos out there. I think it feeds my soul to sit and gaze upon nature, upon true art, upon the many places in this world and the differences between them and my world, but most of all... to be shown a story.
My two favorite photo sites (at the moment) are: Flickr and Pixdaus.