PetaPixel

Photographer Died Protecting His Film During the 1980 Mt. St. Helens Eruption

When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, photographer Robert Landsberg was documenting the changes in the volcano from just a few miles away. Realizing that he couldn’t possibly outrun the approaching ash cloud, he kept shooting for as long as he could before using his body to preserve his film:

He managed to rewind the film back into its case, replace his camera in its bag, put the bag in his backpack, and then lay himself on top of the backpack in an attempt to protect its contents. Seventeen days later, Landsberg’s body was found buried in the ash with his backpack underneath. The film could be developed and has provided geologists with valuable documentation of the historic eruption. [#]

The photos were published in the January 1981 issue of National Geographic. Many people might think of saving their precious photos in the event of a house fire, but how many photographers would think to use their bodies to protect their photographs?

Robert Landsberg (via Reddit)


 
Get the hottest photo stories delivered to your inbox.
Get a daily digest of the latest headlines:
  • http://twitter.com/saviour100 Patrick Kelly

    Now thats dedication!

  • http://twitter.com/saviour100 Patrick Kelly

    Now thats dedication!

  • Guest

    How about some high resolution scans of these images.

  • http://twitter.com/seanrfinnegan Sean Finnegan

    That’s an amazing story. But I wish I could view the images instead of look at those tiny scans from the magazine.

  • Proximo

    Ultimately, we’re all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how but, what we
    can decide is how we meet that end, in order that we are remembered, as
    men.

  • Proximo

    Ultimately, we’re all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how but, what we
    can decide is how we meet that end, in order that we are remembered, as
    men.

  • tit

    can i get an amen? testify sistaa!

  • vagina

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH :P HAHAHAHAH I LIKE DRUGS

  • Wantopang

    Dude is like totally rocking it man, I mean like wow.
    Anon-Surfer.tk

  • http://www.turbophoto.com/Volcano-Erupting-Ash-20415.php Muellergraphics

    So, the purpose of this post is to say how great these images are and make everyone want to see them, but yet you can’t click on it to actually see them at a normal size. Uh…. 

  • tittienkitties

    Yea no shit, right?

  • Dongo

    Seriously… wtf, man?

  • Funnyppl

    Now thats retarded

  • Andrew Singleton

    Shadows and Dust.

  • Dfgddfg

    reddit

  • http://twitter.com/aluisius Aluisius Sudiarto

    High resolution PDF of the image:
    http://minus.com/mJhB709XS/

  • http://nwmeble.pl/ Meble Drewniane

    Great man!!

  • http://www.motivationals.org/ Uncle Demotivator

    Thank You, kind soul :)

  • VelazquezRosalie

    my roomate’s st ep-mot her brought ho me $1 3342 the previous mo nth. s he g ets pa id on the computer and bought a $369300 condo. All she did was get lucky and profit by the advice uncove red on this web page

    ⇛⇛⇛⇛► (Click On My Name For Link)

  • 9inchnail

    Wow, those photos are totally worth dying for… NOT.

  • Vurn

    “screw running away, let’s take a few photos”

  • Cloven

    I hope you’re being sarcastic. The ash cloud that would melt skin instantly rose 12 miles high in the initial explosion and traveled 60 mph towards this photographer. He knew he had maybe 3-6 minutes to live.

  • MatrixNeo

    Isn’t putting a gun to your head choosing how?