Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
Photos taken 33 years ago by a photographer who died in the Mt. St. Helens eruption have been discovered and developed.
Reid Blackburn took the photographs in April 1980 during a flight over the simmering volcano. When he got back to The Columbian studio, Blackburn set that roll of film aside. It was never developed. On May 18, 1980 — about five weeks later — Blackburn died in the volcanic blast that obliterated the mountain peak.
Those unprocessed black-and-white images spent the next three decades coiled inside that film canister. The Columbian’s photo assistant Linda Lutes recently discovered the roll in a studio storage box, and it was finally developed.