Just back from the hospital, the op went well but will not know for a while if it has been totally successful. I was supposed to stay in one more day but I persuaded the Doctor to let me home tonigh as I'm off to London in the morning. Thanks again for the comments.
I can't remember the exposure but it would be quite long but as the subject was static the long exposure was not a problem. You could use the movements on the LF camera to enable you to retain depth of field and work with the lens reasonably wide which would reduce the length of the exposure. Otherwise I'm afraid you've just got to live with the problems you mention, it's the price we have to pay when using LF cameras.
With respect to this version of Sea of Steps the impression of light was enhanced by the way that I chose to print the image. Because of the long exposure to give detail in the shadow at the bottom of the steps the bright wall to the right was quite dense on the neg even though I did reduce the film development. Consequently, there is quite a lot of burning in to that area and to the curved area from left to right on the steps.