Summer Heather Garden
Summer Heather Garden
Summer Heather Garden

Christopher Burkett

Summer Heather Garden

California, 1998

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $2,000.00
Summer Heather Garden
Summer Heather Garden
Summer Heather Garden



Original Cibachrome photograph by Christopher Burkett, “Summer Heather Garden, California.” 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.



“In the first week of September 1998 I had a gallery opening in Gualala, California. As usual, I brought my camera equipment “just in case” an image would present itself to me. Little did I know. The day of the gallery opening the dealer suggested we look at a private heather garden close by. He had received permission from Jim and Beverley Thompson for us to privately photograph their landscaped grounds. Jim and Beverley welcomed us with great hospitality and Jim gave us a tour of the property. Jim hybridized many of the heathers in this scene and he’s the artist who sculpted and designed the paths and mounds of heathers and conifers. He was especially proud of this viewpoint.

It was a sunny afternoon and I went around busily photographing and with my wife Ruth’s help was able to make five photographs. This is not one of them. When we were done, we thanked the Thompsons, went back to the Alinders and rested up for a busy gallery opening that night.

Early next morning we loaded up the car and prepared to drive straight back to our home in Oregon, a 13-hour trip. The day was foggy with no wind and Ruth was driving, as usual. In about 1/2 an hour into our trip we drove past the Thompson’s place. Ruth had a flash of inspiration, pulled the car over and told me we were going back for more photos. I was whining that we had a long trip ahead of us and that I’d already photographed what I saw there yesterday. To no avail, we were stopping.

She was right. OK, she was very right. I looked around and took only this one photograph of one of the same scenes I had photographed the day before. The soft light was perfect, and the artistry of Mr. Thompson was on full display. I purposefully left a bit of the rough wooden fence in the top right corner of the image to indicate we are looking at a masterfully designed landscape. I used my Rodenstock 360mm Apo-Sironar-S lens at f/45-1/2 for a 2.5 second exposure on Velvia 50 film.

This is the only image I have that shows a manicured, carefully crafted landscape. To me, the artistry and skill of the Thompsons has a natural feel and flow to it that reflects and embodies much of what I see in nature throughout the world. You can’t get better than that.”


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.