For Discussion ~ How Do We Look At Photographs?

I brought this up on my last post, but really wanted to revisit this topic in greater detail. Are we cheating ourselves out of fully enjoying and appreciating photography? When we were using film and paper, everything had to be printed and we were used to the idea that we would visit galleries to see beautifully printed photos. That experience could be a very moving one, as photographers took great care in making and presenting their work.
I have always thought, as the son of an artist, that viewing any artwork - a painting, a sculpture, a photograph - was a most intimate experience, forged by the necessary connection between artist and viewer. The artifact we look at is directly from the artist's hand. Are we getting the same experience from a computer monitor?

As a photographer who has exhibited - and loves nothing more than to see photos exhibited - I think we're missing some intangible, but very real qualities that don't express well with a computer. Things like the texture of the paper, or the size of the image itself: is it on a grand scale that invites awe, or something small and delicate that draws the viewer inward? Art demands our attention, not just a fleeting glance.
Don't get me wrong, I shoot exclusively digital and am delighted at the potential for sharing images that it offers. These wonderful black & whites, recently made by my brother Jim Hutt, are a perfect example of that. But I'm hoping that we take time to develop our printing skills, taking advantage of the incredible media that's available to us, and taking the time to visit and encourage the galleries that are exhibiting photographs.
Your thoughts?  Mine do tend to ramble.....