Waterlily Gala
Waterlily Gala
Waterlily Gala
Waterlily Gala

Christopher Burkett

Waterlily Gala

Florida, 1987

Original Cibachrome Photograph

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection $1,500.00
Waterlily Gala
Waterlily Gala
Waterlily Gala
Waterlily Gala

Waterlily Gala, Florida from Photography West on Vimeo.

20x24” Cibachrome



Original Cibachrome photograph by Christopher Burkett, “Waterlily Gala, Florida.” 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.



“While my wife Ruth and I were our five-month photo trip in 1987, we found ourselves in the south east part of Florida in October. Almost every day we camped out with a small tent, sleeping on the ground. When I got up in this morning I went for a stroll in the area around our campground.

I happened to come across this nearby pond that was filled with wild waterlily leaves that had changed colors in the fall. The water was natural black due to the tannins in the stream water. Hustling back to camp I brought back the 8×10 camera, tripod and the three lenses we used on that trip: a 305mm G-Clarion, a 450mm Nikkor M and a 24″ Red Dot Artar.

The 305mm lens was the choice for this photograph and I used the back tilt to bring the plane of focus into alignment with the water. When the back tilt is used it has the effect of slightly stretching the bottom of the image which in this case improved the composition. I made one exposure at f/22 for one second on Fujichrome 50 film.

The film languished in my darkroom for 26 years until I made the first Cibachrome of it in 2013. The image is incredibly sharp and the 30×40″ Cibachromes have an amazing level of fine detail. Adjusting the overall color balance is surprisingly touchy due to the multiple opposite colors in play. For me, the Cibachromes convey the surprise and wonder I found on my quiet walk that peaceful October morning.”


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.