Autumn Circus
Autumn Circus
Autumn Circus
Autumn Circus

Christopher Burkett

Autumn Circus

Oregon, 2002

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $2,000.00
Autumn Circus
Autumn Circus
Autumn Circus
Autumn Circus



Original Cibachrome photograph individually handmade by Christopher Burkett from 6×6-format transparency film, mounted on cotton rag Antique Rising Museum Board. Signed in pencil on mount with title, date and edition number on verso.

The 40×40″ Museum Edition is limited to 15. Due to the size and delicate nature of the artworks, they must be shipped directly to a professional framer of your choice. For clients in the Bay Area, we also offer framing and installation services. Please contact us for additional information.



“In September of 2002, my wife Ruth and I moved my darkroom and studio from the very small town we had lived in for 21 years, a distance of 50 miles. Because of the move we were unable to go on an extended photo trip so I had to be content with photographing whatever I could find close by.

The previous day we had an extraordinary moment when I was able to make my photograph “Resplendent Light.” I had not yet developed that film, but I knew there was a good chance that there was a great image, although since everything happened so fast it was hard to be sure.

Since this one tree proved to have so much photographic potential, we went back one more time, just before sunset. We arrived at the tree earlier than the day before and in just one day the colors of the tree had changed, and the light was quite different. There was sunlight shining on the tree, but it was more enveloping and more diffuse.

The previous day I used a 250mm lens but that was not going to work today. Usually I can visualize which lens to use when I see some photographic potential in a scene but this evening I had difficulty and went back and forth between three or four choices before settling on the 100mm lens. I used Provia film to make the exposure. As usual, I only made the one photograph of that tree at that time. I almost never take multiple views of any scene, trying to find the strongest possible image and going with that one.

The next day I developed the two rolls of film. I was pleased to see that both photographs had met, or exceeded my expectations (it’s hard to exceed my expectations since I don’t make a photograph unless I think it will be terrific – and once in a while it is).

It’s worthwhile to compare the two images because they are so different. Different day, different light, different lenses and different film. Same photographer, same Cibachrome material, some of the same leaves in both photographs. This is one of the best examples to show how photography can be simultaneously literal and artistic. It’s not just about finding a pretty subject to photograph, although in this case it certainly was beautiful.

I titled the image “Autumn Circus” for several reasons. To me it has a festive, rambunctious quality… This is no polite, tame tree; the colors reminded me of circus colors. Also, the word “circus” is a version of the word “circle” and this image has a circular composition that revolves in a counterclockwise direction.”


All Christopher Burkett photographs sold at Photography West are new and in pristine condition. HD videos of the individual piece you are purchasing are available upon request. For more information, please


Christopher Burkett has labored for over four decades to create what many regard as the most impeccable and luminous color photographs in the history of photography. Gifted with a contemplative spirit as well as painter’s eye, Burkett has an uncommon ability to capture the natural world in a manner that simultaneously reflects “the world behind the world” as Minor White and Paul Caponigro might have put it. And although Burkett has been compared by curators to American color landscape photographers Eliot Porter and Ernst Haas, whose genre of American landscape photography he extended, neither of them exclusively developed their own film, nor attempted the darkroom standard clearly in evidence upon viewing Burkett’s original Cibachromes.

christopher burkett in his darkroom


Cibachrome, also known as Ilfochrome, is among the most stable of all color photographic processes. The dyes reside within the emulsion layers, giving the photograph its characteristic color saturation. The base is a polyester triacetate, rather than fiber-based paper, which adds to the longevity. It was a positive-to-positive photographic process based on the Gasparcolor process, created in 1933 by Bela Gaspar, a Hungarian chemist. Purchased after the merger of Ilford UK and Ciba-Geigy Photochemie of Switzerland, the process was first trademarked and marketed as Cibachrome in 1963. Each Cibachrome is composed of ten layers containing various combinations of light-sensitive silver halides and dyes that are sensitive to blue, green, or red light waves, which gives it an incredible depth and three-dimensional quality. After exposure of a positive, either through an enlarger or direct contact, the Cibachrome must be developed with black-and-white developing chemicals. This step creates a silver negative image within the layers. Next, the photograph must be bleached. The bleaching rids the photograph of dyes in proportion to the amount of silver that has been developed in the previous step and produces a positive dye image in color. In 2011, Cibachrome/Ilfochrome products were discontinued and it is now considered a historical process.