I'd say I am about 15% experimentation and 85% doing, once the former invades the latter to more than 25% of the total, I put is aside and move on to what continues to work. For example, I am 100% productive at shooting and printing from medium format, I can count on it, have my systems down. But getting a clean neg from large format has proven incredibly hard, so in the 7 months I have used the format, I have been far less productive with it than medium format....the during exposure dust is killing it for me.
So I am still experimenting with LF, not shooting bodies of work like I prefer and I just don't like that at all..
Your reasoning is exactly why I'm not happy about large format either, Dan, unless I'm making contact prints, in which case I can deal with the dust. In my prints I could recognize superior tonal gradation from sheet film, but the sacrifices I had to make in terms of speed of setting something up, or changing something due to changing conditions, as well as the dust issues, I felt it completely stifled my creativity to where I lost all the joy I felt shooting 35mm and medium format. So I axed the 4x5 and found the joy again. Now I have an old Century #2 5x7 which I occasionally use to make contact prints, and that has brought the joy back. But immediately when I start enlarging those sheets I start to see all the work I have to do with knifing and spotting a single print... Never again.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh