What kind of emotion are we looking for? In Afternoon Regard for Photography, Eli Siegel explains:

[W]e are going after the greatest emotion; and when photographs, like poems or plays or novels, live, it is attested to that someone had a great emotion. The purpose of photography is to create an emotion about the world through what has been carefully seen and selected.

Eli Siegel is talking about emotion based on careful seeing, emotion based on respect for the world. This is the art emotion—the oneness of beauty and ethics—and it should impel every technical choice a photographer makes, from deciding what to include and exclude in the viewfinder to selecting a moment that we hope conveys eternal meaning.

[from Photography, Life, and the Opposites]