Flowering Redbud
Flowering Redbud
Flowering Redbud
Flowering Redbud

Christopher Burkett

Flowering Redbud

Kentucky, 1991

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $1,500.00
Flowering Redbud
Flowering Redbud
Flowering Redbud
Flowering Redbud



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 mount verso.



“In 1991 the Bernheim Forest Foundation gave me a second grant to photograph at their private forest and arboretum in Kentucky. I had photographed at Bernheim in 1990, but only in October and November. It was now the middle of April and I scheduled two weeks to photograph Bernheim in the springtime.

I’d been in contact with the kind folks at Bernheim and they notified me when the dogwoods and redbuds were almost at peak bloom. I had been very busy making Cibachromes in my darkroom and waited until the last moment to leave. I drove from Oregon to Kentucky in three long days, the last day driving 1,050 miles, arriving after 1am. I was younger then.

The next morning I awoke after a few hours sleep and photographed “Pink and White Dogwoods” in the early dawn light. This was the second photograph I made that morning with the same soft, early dawn light and almost no wind.

This photograph was made in the forested area of Bernheim where all of the trees are native to Kentucky. The redbud is growing at the base of a gently rising hill, the dried leaves from fall providing a soft brown carpet throughout the silent forest. The tonalities of the scene are muted colors, the trunks of uniform tones, mostly shades of grey. The redbud blossoms form an almost circular shape. The forest is the stage, the redbud the star performer.

I composed the image using the rising front on the camera to keep the trunks vertical. I made one exposure with my 600mm Fujinon C lens at f/64 for 7 seconds on Fujichrome 100 film. The film recorded the delicate colors and tonalities extremely well. I miss that film.

For some unknown reason I didn’t print this image until 1995, four years later. Because of the delicate colors, including many grey tones, the contrast, overall density and color balance are all quite critical when I make the Cibachrome. Also, the redbud blossoms require precise dodging and burning on each print to balance their densities into a cohesive whole.

The finished Cibachrones convey the peace and soft, delicate beauty I saw and experienced that blessed morning.”


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.


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.