Cottonwood & Light
Cottonwood & Light
Cottonwood & Light
Cottonwood & Light

Christopher Burkett

Cottonwood & Light

Utah, 1987

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $6,000.00
Cottonwood & Light
Cottonwood & Light
Cottonwood & Light
Cottonwood & Light



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.

The 40×50″ Museum Edition is limited to 15 total. 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 for additional information.



“When photographing in Utah in 1987, around 1:00pm in the afternoon I was on my way to scout out photo possibilities for evening. The sun was bright, and the day quite warm as I drove along a dirt road.

As I came around a corner, I came to a sudden stop as this cottonwood tree fairly leapt out at me–backlit by the sun, with the shadowed canyon wall as a background. The russet colors in the furrowed trunks of the tree were enhanced by the light reflected by the orange sandstone cliff behind me.

Leaping out of the car, it was almost an instantaneous decision where to place the camera and which lens to use. Trembling with anticipation, I worked quickly to set up and focus the camera and expose the film, before the light changed and the moment passed.

During some of my most memorable photographs, the experience itself can be so moving that it becomes difficult to properly follow each of the many necessary steps in the proper order. During those times, I usually will quietly talk to myself, carefully proceeding along each step until the image is on film. The glow from these experiences can stay with me for many hours.

This photograph has almost universal appeal and constantly reminds me of the light, the power, and the presence of God with us in the world.”


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.