Graceful Aspen
Graceful Aspen
Graceful Aspen
Graceful Aspen

Christopher Burkett

Graceful Aspen

Colorado, 2005

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $2,000.00
Graceful Aspen
Graceful Aspen
Graceful Aspen
Graceful Aspen



Original Cibachrome photograph, “Graceful Aspen, Colorado.” 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.

40×50″ Museum Edition 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 for additional information.



“At the end of September 2005 Ruth and I found ourselves in the Grand Mesa area of Colorado, having spent the previous five days photographing in Idaho and Utah. We were driving down a narrow dirt road when we came around a corner and saw this tree. Well yes, this looks very good.

The lighting was extraordinary and quite rare. It was around noon and the aspen trees were perfectly backlit as you can see by the slight edge lighting of the three tree trunks. Behind the aspens was a group of dark fir trees that were tall enough to provide a backdrop but short enough for the sunlight to fully illumine the aspens. I’ve never seen such a perfect setup before or since.

Working quickly before the light changed or the wind picked up, we set up the 8×10 camera using a modest amount of the falling front adjustment to keep the trunks parallel in the photograph. There was a puff of wind now and then, so we had to watch and wait for a still moment before I used my 600mm lens at f/45 for a 1/4 second exposure onto Provia film. I made one more at the same exposure as a backup.

Before we could take the camera down two nice ladies stopped by to see what we were doing and very kindly took our picture which shows the view camera setup and what we looked like in 2005.

The Cibachrome was surprisingly difficult to make; it took me three days before I was pleased with it. The difficulty is in keeping tonal separation in the yellow leaves which requires a perfect, rather light density contrast mask combined with a lot of precise dodging and burning on each Cibachrome.

The final Cibachrome has a wonderfully cohesive feel to the cascading gold leaves and fine branches that reminds me of movement of clouds in the sky or the piano music of Jessica Williams.”


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.