Considering Photographic "art", under the genre of photojournalism, documentary, street photography and the like, it is the ability to make a powerful image the moment light hits your sensor or silver halides, depending on your aesthetic preferences. It's a result of your intuition, your astute attention to your environs, your dedication and ethics, that is if you have any. That’s Photographic Art. And if you are wandering the streets of that visually affluent and exotic place, with the need of removing elements to create an inspirational image, maybe you should consider your work process. Your focal length, your position and framing, although a choice, are not an accurate representation of what your eyes witnessed, we know that, but it's not necessarily manipulation. Yes, we also know that photography is not the "truth". But that moment it's something you witnessed and experienced, it intrigued you for social or cultural reasons, and that moment is accurate, it's yours, but simultaneously theirs too. Without them you are nothing, eliminating them is disrespectful, he was happy you took his picture. Additionally, you are also missing out on the fun of picture hunting. The strive in searching and capturing that powerful moment when everything is harmonious. Some times that moment comes, other times it doesn't, and it's fine, just move on.