Florian Kresse meets Günther Raupp, who has shot the photos for Ferrari’s legendary calendar for more than 30 years, but next year's digital version will have a whole new dimension: It's audible as well as visual.
FK : Günther, you are a photographer, artist and creative mastermind. Please give us a short description of your career progression and your creative works.  
GR : That’s hard for me to describe. I studied Painting and Art History at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart and already had some exhibitions of my painting at that time. Then there was my quick start with photography at the Art Academy and then I moved to audiovisual media. The connection of unconventional photography to music and movement was very fascinating to me. 

The Stuttgart State Gallery is the most famous art institute in the southwest of Germany. The institute invited me to create some audiovisual artwork on Venice while I was a student. I presented this over eight months in an individual exhibition. 

Afterwards, I became self-employed, creating audiovisual media. The productions for my first client Knoll were so spectacular that other renowned companies immediately booked me: AEG, BASF and Kodak, to name just a few. 

After two years, the first automobile clients: FIAT, Lancia, Porsche and Jaguar started contacting me.

I was more and more in demand as an automobile advertising photographer. In Europe and America, I have just about the entire automobile alphabet on my reference list. From A for Audi, B for Buick up to V for Volvo. During my life, I worked for months in Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles, for example. Of course, you taste blood when your own personal style and creativity are in demand even over there [in the United States].

FK : That sounds exciting. How did you get started with Ferrari and how long have you been working for them?
GR : Ferrari is haute cuisine – that’s where I want to go if automobiles are my subject.
Already very early on, in the summer of 1984, I had photographed my first Ferrari calendar on my own initiative and had it printed, bound and processed – which would be suicide today in terms of trademark law. 

However, at that time, I sent a sample of this first edition to Enzo Ferrari who immediately answered and thanked me with lots of good wishes from the Commendatore and a “just keep at it, young man!” 

The rest is well known: the famous Italian sports car producer soon put a contract on the table with the proposal that I should create the official Ferrari calendar from then on. So, photography, graphic design, and overall production monitoring.  The 2018 calendar is my 34th Ferrari calendar in a continuous unbroken stretch since 1984.
FK : Your focus has been on photography – how come audio now too? 
GR : Every Ferrari is a complete work of art with a wide, unbelievably sensual range! Of course, it looks captivatingly beautiful. But the sound when the engine accelerates gives goose bumps and the intense scent of racing and sports cars is a pure seductive perfume! 

As an artist, I have wanted to convey this multichannel fascination for a long time, with my Ferrari calendars. Now, in the 2018 printed calendar, you can smell the perfume of Ferrari. The digital Ferrari calendar app is being launched in the new year, which offers an Italian opera of engine sounds for enjoyment. 

There are only about a dozen experienced sound engineers that specialize in recording vehicles in action. They are based in Sweden, Denmark, Australia, and, of course, in Hollywood. Obviously, I transfer the quality I achieved as a Ferrari photographer on the sound recordings of the engines. I mean to bring out those goose bumps I mentioned previously in my recordings. 

Listen to an example from the Ferrari 2018 digital calandar
FK : You haven’t exactly set yourself a small task. That’s no small challenge. How did you hit upon DPA Microphones? 
GR : As always, it’s these two components: first, people with passion and, second, technology that makes what’s in our minds possible. 

Thomas Hemming, a friend, audio engineer, and owner of the Soundhouse 7 studio, was instantly ablaze. He contributed the technical competence. We experimented with various recording constellations with a number of Ferraris—and achieved a different result each time. 

Then Thomas Dich and the DPA products came into play. From then on, the project took off. I can say that it’s ultimately thanks to your cooperation and the testing options for the various DPA mics that we reached such surprisingly good results so quickly. 

I’m a fan of essential decisions. As a photographer, I rely on the best camera and therefore only use my Hasselblad during Ferrari shootings. This is the attitude I’ve now transferred to DPA in terms of sound recording. 

FK : Which microphones by DPA have you used and why?
GR : Due to the raw recording conditions, I chose miniature condenser mics. Moreover, because the recordings took place under racetrack conditions, the ability to affix the microphones onto the vehicles was paramount to the project. The compactness of the technology was decisive and that’s why we concentrated on the DPA d:screet™ series of microphones. 

As I already said, the great results were possible thanks to your excellent support! We were able to test the d:dicate™ 4007A, d:dicate™ 4017 Shotgun, and d:screet™ 4062 mic types on different Ferraris. The decision fell on the d:screet™  4062 with a level of attenuation, necessary because of the, to some extent, exorbitant loudness very near to the exhaust and even in the engine compartment of the Ferraris. 
In situations where the mics could not be affixed to the running vehicle, I decided on the d:dicate™ 4017 Shotgun as the absolutely universal and reliable workhorses. The shotgun was used in situations like the launch of a Ferrari from a standing position, while passing, or following the object car to car—the d:dicate™ 4017 Shotgun mastered every situation. 

In terms of the result, I was totally surprised by the quality of the signals when I came to Thomas Hemming for mixing in Sound house 7. Under the hardest recording conditions, an enormous range of frequency, an unbelievable presence as well as—thanks to my nifty installation on the vehicle—I ended up with a very low-noise recording.

With you and DPA, I’ve ended up in the same place with my Ferrari sound recordings as I have in terms of my success with Hasselblad cameras. 
FK : What were the idiosyncrasies in terms of the recordings?
GR : It was completely new for me as a photographer—and everything just worked! The vehicles are always in my images for the Ferrari calendar. It’s the height of suspense: the angles and the light are dramatic, but the Ferraris are what’s there. There’s never a scene with people or models; the observer experiences the Ferrari entirely alone like a natural wonder, just for them, right now and next to them! 

That’s also the aim of my sound recordings: this solitary, absolutely “me” experience as the driver: it’s ME driving, ME accelerating, ME going into the curve—this animal is right now rejoicing in its highest tones just for ME! You haven’t really get that in this kind of precision and intensity up until now. I wanted to generate this dynamic acoustic component as an extension to the sensual enjoyment of my images. 
FK : What was your most exciting experience with Ferrari? 
GR : There was a whole bunch of them! Another way to put the question would be: what IS your most exciting experience with Ferrari? The answer: the next Ferrari calendar! I’ve only done 34 up to now… however, through the new sound recordings, I have even more punch for next year.   
FK : WOW, thanks for these awesome insights into a very colorful world. One last question I want to ask: do you have a favorite Ferrari model? 

GR: Yes, the Ferrari Dino 246 GTS—I already wanted it as a boy. At the age of 29, I then fulfilled this dream. I have this Dino up to today. It has nearly 180,000 km on it now. It also helped in the development of the sound recording technology. As I said, I like essential decisions.  
FK : Thank you very much

The official 2018 Ferrari calendar: www.raupp.com

The new Ferrari calendar app for smartphones and tablets will be available under the name of Ferrari Cal as a download in Google Play Store and Apple app Store at the beginning of December 2017. 



Be the first to hear about new products, workshops, events, contests, offers and more. Get DPA information sent straight to your mailbox.