Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest
Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest
Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest
Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest

Christopher Burkett

Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest

Colorado, 2003

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $1,500.00
Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest
Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest
Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest
Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest



Original Cibachrome photograph by Christopher Burkett, “Spruce and Bright Aspen Forest.” 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 inch Museum Edition is 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. International shipping is also available upon request. Please for additional information.



“In 2007, Ruth and I went on another photo trip in our camper van, starting in mid-September we began to photograph in Colorado. We first photographed in the McClure pass and Gunnison Canyon areas. Ruth then drove me to the Denver airport, where I flew to New York City for a gallery opening in Soho, returning two days later.

We then went back to McClure pass where I happened to meet and talk with a photographer from Colorado who was using a 4×5 camera. He recommended we check out the large aspen forests which grow in the Kebler Pass area only 45 miles away. We thanked him and drove there that day. We were astonished by the size, density and luxurious beauty of the aspen forests and I was thrilled with the potential for some terrific photographs. Over the years we’ve explored virtually every aspen forest in Colorado and found that none of them come close to the beauty and size of the Kebler Pass aspens.

We were blessed with perfect weather: full sun and no wind. While full sun is too contrasty for most forest scenes, it works beautifully with the white aspen trunks, yellow leaves and dried grasses on the ground. We photographed there for seven amazing days. The area of best photographic potential was only about 12 miles along the main gravel road with various small dirt side roads here and there.

As I became more familiar with the area and how the light changed throughout the day, I would make mental notes of specific scenes and could fairly accurately predict what time of day the lighting would be best to photograph each place.

This photograph was made on the third day we were there at approximately noon. The high sun removed any strong tree shadows and totally filled the scene with a beautiful combination of backlighting and reflected light which filled the scene. I used a 360mm lens at f/45 for two seconds on Provia film, using the rising front on the camera to keep the trunks vertical.

One of my goals in photographing this scene was to convey a sense of that remarkable enveloping light that I was seeing and experiencing. In the final print my goal was that the central conifer would be clearly illumined by that light but also provide a strong visual contrast which would increase the tonal separation in the lightest tones and colors around it.

The Cibachrome requires extremely delicacy in the darkroom. The contrast mask has to be precisely the right contrast and density, the overall color balance is extremely critical and considerable dodging and burning has to be done on each to harmoniously balance out the tonalities and achieve the maximum amount of luminosity.

In those seven almost dreamlike days of photography I made 15 photographs with my 8×10 camera, five of which ended up as exhibition Cibachromes plus one more taken with my Hasselblad camera. That week in 2007 was one of the most productive of my career and that glow from that time, like the glow in this photograph, returns to me when I think back to those days.”


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.