Summer Aspen Forest
Summer Aspen Forest
Summer Aspen Forest
Summer Aspen Forest

Christopher Burkett

Summer Aspen Forest

Colorado, 1999

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $1,500.00
Summer Aspen Forest
Summer Aspen Forest
Summer Aspen Forest
Summer Aspen Forest



Original Cibachrome photograph by Christopher Burkett, “Summer Aspen Forest.” Individually handmade by Christopher Burkett from 6×6-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 the summer of 1999, I had a gallery opening in Colorado. My wife Ruth and I flew to Denver, rented a car and drove to Aspen. I brought a stripped down version of my Hasselblad outfit and tripod on the plane with us in the hopes of perhaps finding a photograph on our way to or from the gallery.

The day after the gallery opening we headed west on Highway 82 which goes over Independence Pass. As usual, Ruth was driving so I could be looking for photographs. Depending on the area, I will often ask Ruth to drive at a specific speed depending on my ability to evaluate the constantly changing scene for worthwhile images. In this case I asked her to drive at 27 mph.

We had good weather with no wind and high clouds that weren’t too thick. The quality of light on an overcast day varies tremendously from heavy flat “dead” light to “cloudy bright” which can have highly directional light but still softer than sunlight. “Dead light” I’ve never found useful for any worthwhile photograph: there’s something about it that just sucks the life out of a scene. Any other type of overcast light is workable depending on the subject matter and the intent of the photographer. In this case we had overcast light which had life in it and although it was soft and non-directional it still showed the shape and form of objects.

We came upon this scene I saw it instantly and asked Ruth to pull over now. She stopped the car as soon as she could and backed up to this spot. The light was perfect for the scene, soft and delicate yet with beautiful edge lighting on both sides of the aspen trunks. It was the remarkable lighting which made this scene something special and drew me to it.

I used a 100mm lens on my Hasselblad and exposed the Velvia 50 film slightly darker than I wanted the Cibachrome to be, so it would hold the delicate shape of the aspen trunks. When I saw the film later, I knew it had potential but would be tricky to work with. It wasn’t until two years later that I was able to make a Cibachrome of it. The tonal values are close together with no true whites or deep blacks and is very sensitive to slight changes in overall color balance. For me it is a quiet, tranquil and peaceful image.”


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.