Interesting description, Ray. For me though, if photography just recreated what exists, frankly that would be quite dull. Imagine if poetry wasn't needed, because it was easy to describe (in 20 words or less) love, hate, fear, desire, etc.
When you press the shutter, you can do no other than record what exists. It may not exactly correspond with what the eye sees. The deficiencies of the camera in all it's aspects will be imposed upon the image - blown highlights, dark shadows, slightly unnatural colors, distorted perspective depending upon the focal length of the lens, and perhaps the biggest of all distortions, the conversion of 3 dimensionality to 2 dimensionality.
I'm not sure if you're saying that all your photos are essentially quite dull because they record only what exists and that in order to make them interesting you have to manipulate them in Photoshop and mold them according to a pre-conceived idea. I've read comments that that's what Ansel Adams did. He was a master of post processing - dodging and burning etc.
I should also mention that many poems consist of less than 20 words - Japanese haiku, for example - although I admit I'm being a bit pedantic here and it has nothing much to do with my argument.
I'm intrigued about your concept of emotional accuracy. It seems almost an oxymoron. The word 'accuracy' belongs in the technical domain, does it not? Emotions can vary with almost the rapidity of a camera's TTL light meter. They may be accurate for the moment but change significantly over periods of time. A photograph, on the other hand, if it's been well preserved, will retain its qualities consistently and true until the second law of thermodynamics has its way. Your opinion of those qualities, and your emotional response to those qualities, may change over quite short periods of time, but the 'real' qualities of the photo (whatever they are) remain fixed. That's their attraction. Same with paintings.