Chasing the Big Idaho Potato

As you know my latest project has me photographing the Giants that exist in our society. Most don’t notice the large versions of ordinary people or objects. You can see some of these images by visiting the Giants Gallery on my web site: http://www.djnphoto.com. I’ve photographed many different giants around Southern California for my project. The one thing all these giants have in common is that they are stationary. That is they are anchored in place, I don’t have to chase them to photograph them.

When I received a tip that there was a large potato on a semi that was traveling around the country, I became excited about having to stalk my prey. I investigated and discovered that this was the Famous Idaho Potato Tour, http://www.bigidahopotato.com. I visited the web site and found a contact, Laura Martin, and sent her an e-mail asking about the truck and when it would be in the Southwestern States. I received a very pleasant call from Laura and she let me know that they would be heading this way shorty and that she would keep me appraised.

Continuing working on my project, I arranged a trip to the California, Arizona border near Parker, AZ to photograph a large chicken on the roof of an old restaurant. See the two previous posts to see the trip. A couple of days before I left for Parker, I received a call from Laura informing me the Truck would be arriving in my area, the problems was it would be arriving the day I was leaving. The good new is that it would still be here when I returned. Laura was great and even offered to bring it by my studio. My studio is in my home and we live in a quite neighborhood with small streets that don’t allow large trucks. Laura informed me that the truck crew would be staying at a hotel just a couple of miles from me.BigIdahoPotato-(20130615)-043

When I returned from my chicken run, I contacted the crew and they informed me that they would be leaving the next morning at 8 am to head to Las Vegas. I set it up to meet them at their hotel and would follow them out to Baker, CA as I wanted photos of the Potato on the road. The truck and potato are definitely big. The truck is 72 ft. in length, with the Potato is 12 ft. wide and 13 ft. tall, and weighs 44,320 lbs. What a subject more my first mobile giant!BigIdahoPotato-(20130615)-058

I met the crew that morning, Paul Humbracht, the driver and the Tater Crew, Kristie Wolfe and Tyler Pagel. They were great and wanted to assist me in getting the photos I wanted. Other than I would have like to be out on the desert at a more photographic time, they have their schedule, the only thing I needed was for them to make a stop in Baker, CA to pose the Potato in front of the giant thermometer. They let me know that it would be no problem.BigIdahoPotato-(20130615)-089

It was fun following them out of the LA area out on to the desert. Once we were on Interstate 15, traffic would often back up behind the truck. As cars came up to the truck, the passengers in the truck would see what it was ad would slowly pass so that they could get out there cell phone cameras and snap a few pictures. My wife and I would leap frog the truck so that we could get shots from the side of the road with the desert in the background.

BigIdahoPotato-(20130615)-094-Small Baking the Big Idaho Potato in Baker, CA

In Baker, Paul positioned the truck in front of the thermometer and I got my shot. We had a great time with the crew and the truck. I’m definitely hoping that it will make another trip to the Southwestern States and that I can meet up with them again. Will I got some good shots, I have so many ideas for shots with the truck, it would be great to have one myself so I could not only get it to certain locations, but also get it there at times with great light.

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