Re: yesterday's promise to "address what I consider to be the most difficult challenge in picture making" ....
First, let me refine my idea of "dificult challenge" by writing that it is not about the difficulty of climbing Mt. Everest in order to make a picture from the top of the world. Or, as Bill Jay put it:
...photographers who carry 60 pounds of equipment up a hill to photograph a view are not suffering enough, although their whining causes enough suffering among their listeners. No, if they really expect us to respect their search for enlightenment and artistic expression, in [the] future they will drag the equipment up the hill by their genitals and take the view with a tripod leg stuck through their foot.
So, let me rule out any picture making which requires strenuous physical endurance or dexterity. In addition, there are a host of picture making endeavors which require a very high degree of technical / specialized skills or equipment. However, I don't consider the acquisition of those skills or equipment to be all that difficult. Time consuming and/or expensive, yes. Difficult, no.
That written, it is the within idea of "artistic expression" (as the result of a personal "vision") where the true difficulty resides.
However, iMo, not all artistic expression is all that difficult. It is very easy, easier now than ever, to point a picture making device at a conventionally pretty / pleasant referent - person, place or thing - and create an "artistic expression" which would be viewed quite favorably by a large segment of the population. ASIDE: I am not suggesting that this is a bad thing but, rather, that, for most, it is not a particulary difficult form of artistic expression to achieve.END ASIDE
All of the above written, what I consider to be the most difficult challenge in picture making is that of making interesting (aka: visually engaging) / beautiful (the print-not the referent-in and of itself) pictures of the quotidian life around us.
The primary reason I believe that making pictures of the everyday life around us is difficult is that it involves risk. The out-on-a-limb risk of rejecting what you have been told is a good picture and making pictures of what you see all around you. In addition, there is most certainly the risk of the rejection / lack of appreciation of one's pictures by a large segment of the population.
However, I believe the most difficult hurdle to overcome in the pursuit of picturing the mundane is developing trust in one's vision. That is, that one tuly believes that what one sees, the manner in which one pictures it and presents it is, indeed, both interesting and beautiful.