Walker Evans- Havana 1933


Walker Evans- Havana 1933. Pantheon, 1989. Essay by Gilles Mora.


Best $7 ever spent on eBay. Walker Evans first major photo-essay, to illustrate The Crime of Cuba, 1933, a political book by Carleton Beals with 31 Evans photographs printed in aquatone. By today’s standards the 1933 book has sub par photo reproduction. Havana 1933, 1989, has 111 gorgeous duotones printed in Italy.

I haven’t yet read Gilles Mora’s essay, translated from French, but I am familiar with another great photo book he did, Bernard Plossu’s New Mexico. Text by Gilles Mora, foreword by Edward T Hall. Plossu’s Frenchmans take on New Mexico, my home state, in the early 80s is another recently discovered favorite of mine. It’s easy to see how Mora would be drawn to the work of Walker and Plossu. Foreigners discovering a new cultures through the lens of a camera.

Evans photographs of Cuba were well received. The Museum of Modern Art exhibition and catalog, American Photographs, followed in 1938. The 1938 MoMA book currently selling for $3-4,000. I have the 75th anniversary edition. This book has long been considered a benchmark of American photojournalism/fine art street photography. Walker EvansHavana 1933 displays his greatness every bit as much as American Photographs.




Walker Evans in Cuba, 1933.



Exxon Rules


I covered the Exxon Valdez disaster as a tv news cameraman and producer. Starting March 25 through the NTSB hearings and the trial, in Anchorage, that acquitted Exxon Valdez Captain, Joe Hazelwood. From the day I arrived in Valdez to the end of Hazelwood’s trial one thing stood out in sharp contrast. Exxon spent more money, deployed more personnel, and exerted the greatest effort in spinning, denying, lying, blaming, covering up the real story.

The rock scrubbers and subsequent pool coverage of rock scrubbing activity became the front page story and tv news A segment across the USA. The image of Exxon cleaning up and taking responsibility was the biggest joke at press watering holes like The Pipeliner in Valdez, the very same venue last visited by Joe Hazelwood before he boarded the Exxon Valdez and headed out into Prince William Sound with a full load of Prudhoe crude. The most bitterly skeptical, and ultimately the ones with the most lives, careers destroyed, the most suicides, the most bankruptcies were the fishing communities of Valdez and, especially, Cordova. The fishing community knew Exxon was lying from day one. The fishing communities were ruined and Exxon made sure the settlements were minimal. The town of Cordova is still suffering almost 30 years later.

In 1999, ten years after the Exxon disaster, I turned a rock over on a remote beach in Prince William Sound. This had been Exxon’s prime photo-op venue, where the rock washers and wipers created a Disneyesque whistle while you work fantasyland for the cameras. The sickening reality was still under that rock, 10 years later, a puddle of Prudhoe crude, black and smelly as the day it left the pipeline.

valdez hat

Favored uniform of press corps, Valdez AK, 4/6/89.

Now Exxon is Secretary of State. Rex Tillerson is also partners, in a Bermuda based oil company, with Putin and the Russian mob. Pruitt is fast wrecking the EPA with the ultimate goal of ignoring pollution. Exxon will begin selling Russia their fracking and tar sand extraction technology as soon as Trump and Tillerson eliminate US sanctions against Russia. In a country with laws, this would be a conspiracy. Trump, Tillerson, Pruitt, Sessions, Putin are putting an end to that nonsense, law.

LA Times page 1 story 4/6/17.


Nazis in San Francisco, 1974


Market Street, San Francisco. ©1974 by DavidButterfield.com

Published in The San Francisco Bay Guardian.

100% of all online photo sales donated to ACLU stop Twitler fund. Click link to buy. Low sale price. http://www.davidbutterfield.com/#a=0&at=0&mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=19&p=3

The Saddest Day.

November 27, 1978. The Saddest Day. Peace. George Moscone, Harvey Milk.


San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 5, Harvey Milk in his City Hall office, September, 1978. Interview in  The San Francisco Gazette with my photos. Contact sheet view first publication 2016.



November 27, 1978. The Saddest Day. Peace. George Moscone, Harvey Milk.

Noah Purifoy Desert Sculpture Revisited





Noah Purifoy Desert Sculpture. 63030 Blair Lane Joshua Tree, CA 92252. butterphoto ©2016.


Link to my 12 minute film, Noah Purifoy Desert Sculpture. 2012. Original music score, Director of Photography, editing: David Butterfield.