We have a nice camera that helps to take good photos.
About your first question, we do the following. Before we go somewhere we prepare ourselves at home. Search on the internet and read in books where the best places are. But we like to be adventurers, go off the beaten track and go where our instincts lead us. Also you need luck and patience.
You must go early to watch birds. Many days we got up at 4.00 am and were not that lucky. People in the camping always wondered what we were doing so early in the morning and coming back so late in the evening. 'Is that your vacation', we were asked, 'To watch butterflies and dragonflies?' You need the sun, preferable a very warm day. Than you can sleep out. If you do all of them, than you are a nature-aholic (our word, hahahiho). And of course you need to be in a good season.
You asked how much time it takes to make one picture. Well, for example those photos with the Night Herons we saw them around 6.00 am, around 7.00 am they were all gone. With the Red-footed Falcons we stayed also about 1 hour. We remain so at least one hour in one place. But you should always remember that you are a guest in their place and be respectful towards all the living creatures, birds, butterflies, flowers and all the same.
Yesterday we took a walk near our home and saw the beautiful Goldcrest. Nickname Little King. We stayed for at least 1 1/2 hour in the snow, it was freezing cold! But what a luck! These birds are so beautiful.They are tiny and light, 4 to 7 grams! And with the cold weather they can lose at night 1/3rd of their weight! Hopefully today we have time to go again and be lucky.