Silver Maple and Rock Wall
Silver Maple and Rock Wall
Silver Maple and Rock Wall
Silver Maple and Rock Wall

Christopher Burkett

Silver Maple and Rock Wall

Virginia, 1987

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $2,000.00
Silver Maple and Rock Wall
Silver Maple and Rock Wall
Silver Maple and Rock Wall
Silver Maple and Rock Wall



Original Cibachrome photograph by Christopher Burkett, “Silver Maple & Rock Wall.” 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.



“In March of 1987 I drove from Oregon to Connecticut for a three month job, photographing along the way with my 8×10 camera. As part of that journey I traveled along the Blue Ridge Parkway for the first time.

This photograph was made with my camera set up right in the middle of the road. The traffic was light but nevertheless I had to pick up and move my camera and tripod three times before I was able to make this photograph. I’d put a penny on the road to mark my spot but would have to recompose the image each time.

I was drawn to this scene by the glow in the silver maple trunks and branches and the visual interaction between the tree and the rock wall. This was the first of what would be many images where the photograph has a complex interaction between two (sometimes three) visual layers in a fugue-like composition.

In this case I wanted to keep the two layers slightly separated to prevent them from getting visually tangled together. The tree and branches are perfectly focused but the rock wall is very slightly soft, not enough to be obvious, just enough so the tree is visually separated as if the rock wall were a painted backdrop. It’s a good thing this effect was desired since there wasn’t enough depth of field possible with the lens I was using at that relatively close distance to get the background sharper.

I used a 24” Red Dot Artar lens at f/64 for one second on Fujichrome 100 film, only one expo-sure was made. The image has always been a bit of a challenge to make in the darkroom. A delicate balance is required in order to preserve the luminosity of the tree, which has a narrow tonal range which needs sufficient contrast to separate the tonal values, but not too much contrast that the rock wall visually overwhelms the tree.”


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.