Ian MacEachern, the Canadian black-and-white poet, maintains a wonderful portfolio on photo.net. There's a sense of humour lurking behind each photo and no trace of the maudlin. His framing is bang on every time and does a great job snipping away the inessentials. And he is, somehow, respectful, and that's a peculiar word to use considering that he does a lot of in-your-face social statement type of work. I think Bert Hardy's work in the Gorbals slums of Glasgow had that same basic humanity, as did Kertesz's early shots of rural Hungarian life.
Check out classics like Looking, Children in Wales, Sharing, Asylum #2, Boy with a Bottle. And that's not counting his candids of people inside pubs and cafes, which are probably the best of the lot.
Oh and this one is hilarious.
While on the subject of "snipping away" stuff from a photo (metaphorically of course), take a look at this snap by HCB: what do you think the kid's doing?