I see red / by Mario Mirabile

I wrote last week that I was interested in the photographic prospects offered by the Melbourne Immigration Museum. I've been back on a couple of occasions since and explored the grounds and buildings. While the museum itself is a fascinating commemoration of those who came across the water to build the country we know, the most interesting part for me is the Tribute Garden. Here the names of thousands of immigrants are inscribed on steel plaques or embossed in the gently rippling pools.

The strong geometric patterns of the garden offers a wealth of interesting possibilities, but the tones are almost monochromatic, particularly on a dull late autumn day. What I really wanted in the frame was a splash of colour - red if at all possible. Red is such a vibrant tone, the colour of fire and passion, and just a little can transform an image. I must confess that I dropped the red leaves into the pool, but the lady walking down the steps was a far more difficult scene to capture.

I really liked the simple geometry of the plaque surrounded staircase leading down from the street to the path between the pools, but it needed a person walking down to complete the picture I had in my mind. I waited for someone to descend, but the only people who did were invariably dressed in black from head to foot, and virtually disappeared into the gloom. I finally decided my only course of action was to recruit a willing volunteer, so I ascended the steps, steeled my resolve, and waited for someone wearing something other than black to pass. It wasn't until my third return visit that I succeeded in finding a willing participant, and serendipitously, she was wearing red. Sometimes, perseverance pays off.