Bold Autumn Forest
Bold Autumn Forest
Bold Autumn Forest

Christopher Burkett

Bold Autumn Forest

Tennessee, 1989

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $2,000.00
Bold Autumn Forest
Bold Autumn Forest
Bold Autumn Forest



Original Cibachrome photograph individually handmade by Christopher Burkett from 8×10-format transparency film, mounted on cotton rag Antique Rising Museum Board. Signed in pencil on mount with title, date and edition number on verso.



“This image was taken in Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the autumn of 1989. On this particular day, I was driving along River Road, which winds next to the Little River, hugging the sides of the hills and mountains.

The day had been uneventful to this point and the weather was a bit dreary – overcast, with scattered showers and windy conditions. As I rounded the corner of the road, I glanced to my left and saw this scene. Applying the brakes (one of the most often used of my photographic accessories), I parked the car and got out to see what I might be able to do.

One of the things I like best about photographing in the dense hardwood forests of the Appalachian area, is exploring and coming to an understanding of the almost infinite compositional possibilities existent in any given situation. An oftentimes dramatically different composition is formed by moving the viewpoint just a few inches in any direction.

Such was the case in this situation. Working intuitively and without forcing the composition, I set up the camera and composed the image on the ground glass. With the bold strokes of the dark trunks, and especially the dramatic line of the long, curved, angled black trunk, the forms and shapes reminded me of Japanese calligraphy. Seeing the image as a whole, without placing my attention too strongly on any given part, I carefully adjusted the camera, viewing the image on the ground-glass under the dark-cloth.

Working quietly, but quickly and relying solely on intuition, I made the image adjustments. I could feel the rightness of each move and when the image finally came to rest where you see it now, there was a deep confirmation within me that this is it!

I was fortunate in that this particular corner of the mountain was shielded from the wind, so there was no blurring of the leaves and branches from subject motion. Exposing one piece of film, I disassembled the camera and placed it in the car as the rain started to pick up again, inwardly glowing from the experience of those moments. That feeling still remains as I describe the experience in these words, and I hope also as you view the final Cibachrome.”


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.