I love taking photographs because I can capture images in an instant in time I saw but did not completely notice. This one-of-a-kind, fraction-of-a-second, never-to-be-seen-by-you-or-anyone-else-ever-again snapshot is now a permanent record. An optical fingerprint of reality that now lives on in perpetuity.
The marvels of technology in both equipment and digital enhancement allows for embellishments to create an artistic version of a real moment. Some of the most beautiful images are created thusly, but were not actually witnessed.
Therefor, the favorite pictures I take are the ones I have already seen.