Readers of TheBlaze are often enraptured by once-lively but now-abandoned environments. And we’re pleased to introduce you to one of the men behind the camera that’s responsible for such incredible images.
Meet Will Crusta.
At the ripe age of 19 he began wandering through empty, dilapidated and graffiti-riddled spaces in the New Orleans area with his DSLR — and today he’s sharing his thoughts on some of these works and why people may be fascinated by empty spaces in general with TheBlaze.
Crusta, now 22 years old, writes on his Flickr profile that his favorite artistic ventures involve urban exploration (or UrbEx). Most of the places he’s crept into were “ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and have been abandoned ever since.”
Although it’s hard for him to pick a favorite space into which he’s traversed, one of his more unique adventures was at a Six Flags, which was recently featured on the viral content platform Buzzfeed. So we’ll start there.
Crusta writes in an email to TheBlaze the theme park was a place he had wanted to visit for a long time. He ended up visiting four times — the most he ever returned to a site to capture the haunting images.
“It’s an abandoned theme park, and really, how many of those are you going to see in your lifetime?” Crusta said. “I believe this one is still caught in fiscal disputes, so that’s the reason it still exists in its current state. You won’t get that lucky with some places.”
Check out some of the nearly 200 photos Crusta took at the park:
The hobbyist photographer, with 11 albums on Flickr hosting his view of abandoned spaces, admits he did not necessarily enter them with permission.
“I wasn’t allowed into any of these places, but if I had been, then what would be the fun in that?” Crusta writes. “A large part of the thrill of going to these places is the act of getting in undetected. Then once you’re in, it’s like your own private playground of cool sights and photo opportunities.”
It is this very “stigma of being ‘off limits’” that Crusta says is probably why people are fascinated by abandoned spaces in the first place.
“Everyday people can go to these places, as I’ve shown in my photos, but most people would decide against going to places like this for one reason or another. I find them exciting and feel like they give me this sense of having a place all to myself.”
Stay tuned for the next part of TheBlaze’s photo series on Crusta’s work featuring an abandoned hospital — his first UrbEx experience — Friday.