He attributed it to the role ruins play as his “brooding unconscious.” He believed ruins to embody a kind of guilt over civilization’s unchecked progress. He never believed these images to be sensationalistic and nothing more.
There doesn’t seem to be any lack of photographers today willing to tackle the subject, he knew that.
His photos provided a valuable glimpse of the other world that exists on the flip side of mega malls and suburban sprawl. He lived by the old code – “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints” – and had a deep appreciation for the places he investigated.
For him, the best way of engaging with the past was by observing it through the prism of the present.
His present, he thought in hindsight, wouldn’t have ended as abruptly – if only he had knocked first.