Christopher Burkett


Oregon, 2011

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $1,500.00



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 mount verso.



“I was lounging at home on a blustery November Saturday afternoon in 2011. The day had been filled with what is sometimes politely referred to as “unsettled weather.” It was getting late in the day and the sun was getting lower in the sky in preparation for setting. Suddenly, it popped out from under the cloud cover and created rainbows in the misty rain drops that had been falling most of the day.

Fortunately, I had my Hasselblad camera outfit with me at home so I put on a rain jacket and rushed outside to look for photographic possibilities. The scene was beautiful but I wasn’t seeing a worthwhile composition throughout the scene. The fine rain continued to fall as the sun got lower and lower in the sky.

Coming around to the front of the house I came upon this remarkable scene. The rainbow was so close that I felt as if I could almost touch it. It was embedded within the tree and was wider than any rainbow I’ve seen before or since. The warm light of the setting sun gave the rainbow a wider “red band” than usual and the direct sunlight illumined many of the branches, giving depth and shape to the scene. The sky is always lighter under a rainbow and darker above and in this case the effect was accentuated by the setting sun.

Quickly setting up my camera on the tripod I used my Hasselblad 150mm lens and made one exposure on Velvia 50 film, placing the rainbow colors a bit lower on the scale than usual to preserve as much tonal separation as possible. I had time for only one exposure, then the rainbow disappeared and the moment was gone forever. This majestic Tricolor Beech tree is about 100 years old. The colors and light distribution in the sky and tree is as I saw and experienced it on that day.

To me the Cibachrome prints are energetic, powerful and peaceful. It is as if for a brief moment heaven touched earth and brought with it consolation and grace. The storm is over.”


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.