How long should it take for a photographer to come away from a scene with a great photograph? For example, this past summer in the mountains, I set up my camera within sight of another photographer. Both of us were shooting the same mountain and lake looking for great light during sunrise. After getting my shot, I wandered to another spot and composed another photograph. After one hour I had taken approximately 10 shots that consisted of bracketed images, single shots and long exposures with a variety of compositions in differing light. The other photographer didn't move once! Was I being impatient or was the other photographer lazy? Did I miss a few fleeting seconds of amazing light by moving around or did I find a unique composition that screams creativity? Which technique is the best way?
I don't really think there is a 'best way'. Everyone is different and each shooting situation is unique. Personally, I like to move around and try different viewpoints of a scene if possible. It feels more creative and artistic to me. Sometimes I don't know when I will be back in the area again so I want to get the most out of my photo session. Scouting an area ahead of time can be really helpful to find your compositions and then return in good light. You can really spice up your photography if you spend a little time trying different things. The photos below (a different mountain and lake) were all taken in 6 minutes and 59 seconds. Actually I took 5 photos in that time and these three were my favorites in that time frame.
But the fun doesn't end there! Creativity comes alive in the editing process. In these images, not only did I compose the shots differently but I processed them differently as well. Changing compositions, changing light and changing editing. Right or wrong it's lots of fun!