I stood out in the blizzard today with my speed graphic doing some handheld photos in the downtown. I focus with the ground glass, close the metal hood, put the film in, review settings, cock the shutter, pull the darkslide. Then I stood motionless for about 3-4 minutes looking through the viewfinder waiting for a person to walk into a particular part of the composition. The snow and wind was so nasty, almost nobody was out and about walking. Normally, someone would walk where I wanted every few seconds and cars and trucks would be where I didn't want them. Finally after a lonnnnnggg wait, I saw what I needed happening and took the photo.
Is this normal am I taking a long time, am I rubbish at what I am doing for it, or does it not really matter and take as long as I like?
Come photograph with me sometime. When I'm using the 5x4, about the best I can do is 20 minutes from start of setup to end of tear down. Much more normal is 30-45 minutes (if it's a tricky shot or conditions are challenging like yesterday's cold and 8 inches of fresh snow). On top of that I've been known to wait for hours to get the right combination of light, wind, etc. to allow me to capture what I want.
I spent most of yesterday out photographing as the big East Coast storm was winding down. Exposed a whopping five sheets of film in five or six hours of faffing about in the snow. If you'd been with me no doubt it would have been you saying that I take (much) too long!