Oxbow Aspens
Oxbow Aspens
Oxbow Aspens
Oxbow Aspens

Christopher Burkett

Oxbow Aspens

Colorado, 2006

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $1,500.00
Oxbow Aspens
Oxbow Aspens
Oxbow Aspens
Oxbow Aspens



Original Cibachrome photograph by Christopher Burkett, “Oxbow Aspens, 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.



“2003 was a great year for my aspen photography. My wife Ruth and I began in the middle of September, photographing at McClure Pass, Colorado. The aspen leaves hadn’t fully turned from green to yellow, so we went elsewhere, checking out other areas of Colorado without much success. We returned to McClure Pass on September 27 and found that the trees had good color but were still not at their peak.

This image was photographed from the edge of the road that goes up to the pass and these trees are in the apex of an oxbow bend in the road, thus the name. The road is elevated above the trees and because it bends around the entire scene it creates a very unique lighting situation. It was an overcast day, so the light was soft and enveloping. The trees in the front were receiving warm toned light reflected off of the aspen trees behind me but the trees in the background, especially those on the left side, were receiving bluer light from another direction.

While I was setting up the camera, I met a local photographer who was using a 4×5 view camera and we had a pleasant conversation about photography in general and he told us about the vast aspen forests in the Kebler Pass area, only 45 miles away. After I took this photograph we went there, opening a full week with perfect weather and foliage conditions, ending up with a number of worthwhile images.

I used a 240mm lens on my 8×10 view camera for this image and used the falling front of the view camera to avoid tilting the trees. The exposure was f/22-1/3 for two seconds on Velvia 50 film. When I saw the developed film weeks later, I was pleased with the image but knew it would be quite difficult to make the Cibachrome. It wasn’t until 2015 that I finally did.

It really was a humdinger to work on. The color balance of the aspen trunks is all over the map and the varying contrast levels of different parts of the image is problematic. Determining the right contrast level and color balance required making many full size Cibachromes. I spent four long days working on this image before I could pull everything together and was finally satisfied with the results. It has a unique beauty to it that is imbued with mystery and perhaps a bit of puzzlement.”


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.