Photos taken 33 years ago by a photographer who died in the Mt. St. Helens eruption have been discovered and developed.


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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.

6 comments

  • PeterF

    Interesting, a story about recently discovered photos. Attached is an image of the photographer, but not a single one of the long lost images…unless I’m just too technologically challenged to trace down the link?
    My brother was at work that day in Seattle. He said he heard it and the building shook a little.

  • wade

    i have seen some of these photo publishing from David Kern before. perhaps 10 years ago. And the story of Blackburn’s car.

  • The photos are at the link. There are “previous” and “next” buttons to the left and right of the photo of the photographer at the top of the story. Click on those and you can see them.

  • When St. Helens starts to smoke a little, as it did a few years ago, people in Portland get nervous. When I lived in Seattle, people had one eye on Rainier. Folks in the Northwest take their volcanoes seriously.

  • Pzatchok

    Its so sad that they waited so long to develop that film for whatever reason.

    The pictures have lost so much detail and definition.

  • PeterF

    apparently my firewall doesn’t like the link

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