They’re brand new images of a Northwest icon that disappeared more than 33 years ago — the conical summit of Mount St. Helens.
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.
When Fay Blackburn had a chance to see new examples of her husband’s work, she recalled how he was feeling left out during all that volcano excitement.