I didn't intend for that quote to be controversial... I just think it's interesting how this thread seams to be about excessive use of really wide lenses, and to HCB, "wide" was a 35mm lens. Most of my students don't seem to see the perspective effect with a lens of that focal length, and to me it does seem a bit subtle. I often use a 28mm for walk-around-and-see-what-I-can-find street photography, and I do love that wide-angle-close-up perspective effect that puts a person or group in their environment so well sometimes:
Hardly a wonderful image, but I love how the artist is the only one smiling... she was on a mission to spread joy. I doubt this picture would look as good if it was done with a 50mm from ten feet away. It was taken with a 28mm f/2.8 Tamron on my F3 (film was probably HP5 but I'd have to go look to be sure, I was shooting a lot of different films in 2011). I think Bill is onto something about starting with a normal view; I was taught to carry a framing device (an empty slide mount), and use it to determine what lens to use, somewhat like a very inexpensive director's viewfinder.