Christopher Morris is best known for his photographs of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Chechnya and the drug war in Colombia, but in the 1980s, he was a 22-year-old photo agency intern from Florida. These are some rare, recently-discovered, previously unpublished photographs on Time LightBox today. This is how he got his start.

A young teen tags a D train subway car window in a South Bronx train yard, 1981. (Image: Christopher Morris/Time LightBox)

“I was actually out looking for criminal elements,” Morris tells LightBox, “trying to prove myself as a photojournalist, and prove myself to myself.”

Morris re-discovered the photos after reading an interview with graffiti writer Tracy 168.

A man about to board a subway car, 1981. (Image: Christopher Morris/Time LightBox)

Morris rode the trains alone — which back in the ’80s, may have been a bit more dangerous for young Floridian intern as himself — but sometimes, he rode with the Guardian Angels volunteer anti-crime group. It’s also fascinating to see ads for the Aqueduct restaurant, which make it seem a lot more pleasant and exciting than the current reality.

Of all photos of the tags and the trash, this one is pretty jarring — Keith Haring chalk “graffiti.”

A poster for the musical Dreamgirls and a Keith Haring chalk drawing, 1981. (Image: Christopher Morris/Time LightBox)