I like to think of photography as an instinctive reaction - train a camera on a subject and you should be able to see the shot instantly. Of course that's not true all the time, but there is some unique power to the snapshot that's lost when you start mucking around with tripods. Let's frame it like this: if taking a picture is a matter of instinct, then the most important decision that a photographer can make is to simply have a camera with them! Some photographers carry a camera with them wherever they are. Viewed in this way, the interestingness of their images is then only limited by the range of situations that the photographer decides to enter.
Right now I don't value "refined" images very highly, or I don't like them any better for their refined qualities. I'm happy with the image above because I just barely caught it. A friend and I were sitting in the park enjoying some Chu-His, or Chizzle Hizzles, as he called them. I reached for my camera and got that one shot off just as the skater dudes were separating. (They were having their picture taken by the person at the right, can you tell?) It's far from perfect, but if I'd had any "gear" to deal with I wouldn't have gotten anything.