Sunset, Native Koa Trees
Sunset, Native Koa Trees
Sunset, Native Koa Trees
Sunset, Native Koa Trees

Christopher Burkett

Sunset, Native Koa Trees

Hawaii, 1996

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $1,500.00
Sunset, Native Koa Trees
Sunset, Native Koa Trees
Sunset, Native Koa Trees
Sunset, Native Koa Trees



Original Cibachrome photograph by Christopher Burkett, “Sunset, Native Koa Trees, Hawaii.” 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 mount 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 May of 1996, my wife Ruth and I spent three weeks photographing in Hawaii spending one week each on three different islands: Kauai, Maui and the big island. We photographed every day except that we took one day off each week to go snorkeling, bringing our prescription masks with us.

As the sun was setting I saw this beautiful axis lighting on these native koa trees. We had to move very quickly as the shadow you see at the bottom of the photo was moving upwards as the sun set. I used a 600mm lens at f/32-1/3 for one second on Velvia 50 film and made a second identical exposure as a backup.

These trees sit on an exposed ridge on the east side of Kauai. They have a rugged sculpted look caused by hurricane Iniki in 1992, four years before this photograph was made. It’s re-markable that these trees survived because the hurricane had sustained winds of up to 145 mph.

The Cibachromes are very difficult to make due to the high contrast of the transparency. The contrast has to be reduced with a strong contrast reduction mask, but if it’s even a slight bit too strong the shape of the branches is lost due to the perfectly aligned axis lighting. At the end of the day the Cibachrome is almost shockingly bold with dramatic, strong lighting and a beautiful progression of smooth sunset colors behind the trees.”


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.