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T The sky over Hamburg-Eimsbüttel is grey, overcast with rain clouds. It’s cold, but that doesn’t interest him. With his thumb he swipes through the weather app on his smartphone. Results for Sankt Peter-Ording: no rain, a lot of wind instead. Maybe the perfect place for a photo shoot. Or maybe not. The “he” is Paul Ripke, photographer and amateur rapper, born in Heidelberg, residing in Hamburg, soon about to relocate to California. Grew up sheltered, father a doctor, his mother worked in the law firm of a famous German politician, the family dog was called Gorby, in reference to Mikhail Gorbachev. Ripke is outfitted with a few weeks’ worth of stubble, a belly that knows good food, out-of-bed hair, high spirits, good rhymes and his beloved Leica. Paul Ripke is driven by the passion for the image of his life. Every moment. Always. Paul Ripke, click click click, standing in the flash light P stands for power, R stands for right Anyone who has a date with Ripke and a Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupé muses on things beforehand, searches for common ground, for differences. What unites artist and car? The energy and willingness to give their all at any time. One blue-eyed, the other brilliant blue. One of them unpredictable, the other unbelievable. The 35-year-old is known as a pioneer, as a breaker of taboos, as the photographer who stormed onto the grass of the Maracanã stadium in Rio after the final whistle – a few seconds after Mario Götze shot the ball into the Argentinian goal, making Germany the 2014 World Champion. That sequence of events marked a once in a lifetime moment for Götze – and for Ripke. People, do you have your mobiles ready? You’re right, it’s me, the World Cup photographer Paul Ripke, the Wuhlheide Destroyer Agile as a weasel, rock-hard body S So you paint your own picture of him – what it would be like, the car, the weather... pointless. It will be very different, I promise, because you can’t plan with Paul Ripke. And when the former Trailblazer meets powerhouse, hip-hop hobbyist meets propulsion. The day that will end with an enchanting beauty begins with rain, Ripke and a rap. 40


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