It was pissing down rain, I was soaked to the bone, and I couldn’t have been happier. Why? Because I had an afternoon in an unfamiliar place with nothing to do but search for photographs. 

©2010 Ellen Barone.

It would’ve been easy to blow off the day and wait out the rain in the cozy comfort of the nearest pub. But the weather provided a challenge, the opportunity to reschool my eyes, to increase awareness and get creative. 

There were four of us - two fellow travelers, me, and Sam Jones of Islandscape Photography, our guide for the day. Without Sam’s intimate knowledge of her island, the warmth and off-road access her Land Rover provided, and my waterproof point-and-shoot, the rain might have gotten the best of us. But instead, we ended up playing with the rain, dancing with the saturated colors it accentuated, finding joy in letting go of preconceived images and uniting with the scene that was there. In this case, what was there was magic!

The colorful scene begged to be photographed. We forgot the rain, tuned out the cold and enjoyed the process of composing. We changed viewpoint, moved in closer, further away, played with the lines, shapes, colors and rhythms of the subject. And, best of all, for a rainy afternoon on the Isle of Mull, we made time to see. 

Read more in my article Photographing Scotland at National Geographic Traveler.  


About Ellen Barone: Consumer travel expert Ellen Barone is the founder and publisher of and Learn more here and connect on Twitter at,FacebookGoogle+ and LinkedIn.


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