I think it’s a weird thing we do at times. It’s very contradictory or full of trade-offs, like the camera itself. We should have to have a very solid understanding of what we’re shooting, in order to capture the spirit of it and best transmit the luxury and fortune of being in our location at any given time. In other situations, I seem to shoot best when it’s the first time I am experiencing it. The freshness of a scene allows me to be free of any judgment or bias. Often I’m passive and silent, and wander around like a reverent ninja. Other times, I am almost a part of the action somehow, dodging or dancing with the people in a scene I’m shooting. You have to have your head on a swivel, and other times you have to just frame your shot and wait for something to happen, like and angler fish, or Henri Cartier-Bresson.
There's no precise law or methodology. No single correct way to shoot any one scene or environment. That's the best part about holding a camera and having the freedom to stop, pivot, aim and fire. No other person will see that moment as you do—which soon becomes, "as you did." And that choice will last in the digital memory of any device your choose for as long as you wish. It always happened, of course, as a manifested result of countless events beforehand, but whether and how that moment is ever seen again rests on the conscious choice of the photographer. One shot can (for better or worse) reshape the collective perception, and complicate the truth as much as it claims to capture it.
Don't let any of these implications scare you away from simply doing what you're meant to do, as I mentioned in a previous entry. If you were to consider every available option and possible direction, the moment will have already left you. Take a breath, remove the lens cap, underexpose a little bit, and fire away.