Articles by Folco Banfi

Taking pictures at motor shows

Having been to the Geneva Motor Show for a few years running, and having also attended other similar events, I thought I would compile a collection of thoughts on what to think about when you want to take pictures at such events.WhenI try to avoid weekends, as they are a lot more crowded than weekdays. Sure, it means taking a day off work if you're not a professional, but weekends (and rainy Sundays in particular) are a no-no.Even better, if you have some connections and get yourself... continue reading

Chillon Castle in Switzerland now a Trade Mark

The Swiss press announced today that Chillon Castle, known by anglo-saxons because of the "Prisoner of Chillon" book by Lord Byron, and Switzerland's most visited monument, has now become a Trade Mark.What is interesting, is that it's not just the name "Château de Chillon" (and I guess its translation into a number of languages) that is protected, but also two particular "graphical representations" of the castle: when viewed from the Montreux side and when viewed from the Villeneuve side.... continue reading

Carmakers looking for their future

While I was visiting the Geneva Motor Show last week, the first after the big crisis that claimed several car brands and could have claimed several more had the governments not supported them, I could not help noticing that carmakers seem to be trying to understand where their future lies.Nearly every brand has at least one hybrid concept car or commercial vehicle on display. Even Ferrari has a 599 equipped with KERS (yes, the very same device they said was expensive and unreliable on their Formula... continue reading

Beware of sharks...

I just had a rather unpleasant experience that I'd like to share with you.Through a image-sharing site I'm a member of (where I put the stuff that does not fit here) I got contacted about some images of the "Spirit of Ecstacy" (the winged woman on the hood of classic Rolls Royce cars) I'd taken.The guy wanted to know if I was ok to license the image for the internal magazine of a company that does some testing for parts of the car, but that there was no money involved (basically, "can I have... continue reading

America's Cup - Back to sailing...

After much quarrelling and endless hours in courts, it looks like it's time for sailing again for America's Cup.The US's challenger boat has been presented already, and this weekend it was the time for Alinghi's boat to be officially presented to the public, on Swiss national day, no less...The light was terrible so I couldn't take any decent pictures of the boat, but at least I got a couple of good shots of the America's Cup Trophy. continue reading

Helicopters and photography

Recently I was lucky enough to get a helicopter ride for free (something that is not at all common here in Switzerland, maybe in the US it's easier), so here are a few pieces of advice in case you get invited to one (or decide to pay for it).- helicopters are rather small, so you may not have the leisure of being able to swap lenses. Stick to one type of shot, or make a tradeoff in quality by using a superzoom lens- ask the pilot what the route will be, so that you know on which side of the... continue reading

Innovation and quirkiness at the Geneva Motor Show

Now that all the images that I submitted have been processed, here's a quick review of the innovative concepts (and the weird ones) that I saw.Hybrids are always the talk of the motor show. Some brands push the boundaries a bit further than others, and Peugeot was showing off its laboratory car, as well as its Lemans racer equipped with KERS.Smart goes electric! It's electric version of the ForTwo was on display, along with a "souped up" version done by Brabus (I did not check... continue reading

Carmakers in trouble... but not all of them

The "Big Three" may be in deep trouble, but that is hardly to be seen at the Geneva Motor Show (which opened yesterday and will last until March 15th).In particular, it's the luxury brands that have come out with astonishing concepts and/or new models, but even the "traditional" carmakers are sometimes delivering stunning cars.Some examples:Citroen presented a fantastic-looking concept car, the GT-by-CitroenBugatti is still relying on the Veyron, this time clad in "Centennial... continue reading

Be wary of Facebook...

You probably heard about it already, but just in case...On Feb. 4th, Facebook changed their terms of service (without telling anyone, because their terms of service give them the right to do so).Basically, the biggest change is that whatever content is uploaded to Facebook belongs to them FOREVER, and that remains true even if the person that posted the content leaves the site.Needless to say, that means that any image you upload on Facebook becomes theirs to sell and use as they wish.... continue reading

Snow, snow, more snow!!!

It's been quite a Winter here in Switzerland so far: very large amounts of snowfall, low temperatures (last weekend the coldest part of the country reached a spectacular -32.5 C), and certainly ski resorts are not complaining!Well, maybe those that spent millions to buy expensive snow cannons are, because this year they haven't been used once and so their return on investment is nonexistent...Personally, I'm really not complaining: snow, sun and cold weather make for a combination that... continue reading

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