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US City Slicker sixsixty: How to Fake Summer in San Francisco

Don't let the famous San Francisco fog put a damper on the colorful Summer photo scrapbook you were planning. Fake it 'till you make it with these colorful tips.

It’s Summer here at Lomography and we all know that means gorgeous weather, warm beaches, and beautiful skies for taking amazing pictures. But, no one told San Francisco to update the weather. In fact, we’re sort of known for missing the memo when it comes to Summer. A popular quote, although incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, says, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” But, whoever said it didn’t have access to these cool tips and trick for faking fun in the sun! So, “be sure to wear a flower in your hair,” and come on a journey with us as we teach you how to fake a Summer in San Francisco.

Photo by sixsixty

Here is a typical shot of a Summer day in San Francisco. This was actually shot this year on July 2nd at around 2 p.m.. This will just not do for beach weather.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is head to your local big box or party supply store to buy a variety of colorful beach wear and pool accessories. Fake it ‘til you make it! We picked up a plastic flamingo, a kiddie pool, swim goggles, water wings, and—most important—BUBBLES! Don’t ignore the $1 stores and $1 aisles…the cheaper, the better because we both know you’re not going to actually be able to use these here in San Francisco without catching a severe case of the blues…frostbite blues, that is!

Next, head up to your roof…or someone else’s roof if you’re feeling really stealthy. You’re going to want to get as close to the sun as possible without going “full-Superman!” And, before you start to think San Francisco is all bad, the nice thing about all that fog and overcast is it acts as a great natural diffuser. Say good bye to harsh shadows!

Now, with those powers combined, we seriously need to add some color to this dreary day. One way to do this is to add some color filters in front of your camera. I picked up a pack of KOLA Color filters online for under $10. They have a whole rainbow to choose from, but for a good effect I recommend using orange to really heat up the scene! Yellow also works great.

However, I would recommend staying away from red unless you really want to look like the love child of Snooki and Lobster Man (You may be into that sort of thing…I won’t judge).

Another great filter option is to make a DIY Rainbow Polkadot Filter]. Be sure to check out my tipster on that right here! These are great for adding tons of color to the shot.

Don’t forget all those props you bought. I know it’s tough, but it’s worth lugging it up to the roof. I recommend getting a fancy summer themed cup for your drinks like the Pineapple we bought.

Secret Tip: You could fill this cup with hot tea to keep your hands warm in this cold, cold Summer.

And finally, nothing screams Summer in pictures better than bubbles. Just start blowing! (That’s what she said.) Plus, the hyperventilation might keep you distracted from the freezing air. Win-win!

written by sixsixty


  1. andrus_n


    Great Tipster - But I luuuv SanFran the way it is.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. qlamerand


    Can be useful in Paris (France) too, as summer here sucks this year ! :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. sixsixty


    @andrus_n I'm with you on that! I looove the weather here too, I grew up in Hawaii and it was just tooooo hot all the time there.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. sixsixty


    @qlamerand It can! Great idea! We should both go out and shoot a depressing summer weather roll this weekend!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. megustastu


    Gloomy summer in San Diego too.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. maria_vlachou


    yeah? it sounds sooo cool!!!
    in Athens is 41°C for the last 5 days and it's going up... it sucks too!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. sixsixty


    @maria_vlachou woooah that is very hot! I would pass out for sure. Keep cool somehow! Maybe it's time for a holiday?

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. maria_vlachou


    @sixsixty in August... 39 more days to go! :-)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. sixsixty


    @megustastu But you have COMICCON!!!!!!!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. megustastu


    Yeah! Plenty of nerds (like me) here :P

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. paradox23


    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. buckshot


    Ok, so I got the dime-store armbands, goggles and bubbles - now, how much does your gorgeous, crazy-ass San Fran tatoo chick charge for an hour...? ;-) Congrats on yet another fun and very entertaining article, sixsixty!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. sixsixty


    @buckshot I think she works for sandwiches and burritos. They have to be vegan though!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. herbert-4


    But San Francisco has sunny days, 1 in May and 1 in September. Anyway, I think your model is beautiful and very brave! But remember that the UV can get you even on cloudy days and she is very fair. As a responsible Photographer you must make sure she is slathered with SPF100, feed her lots of avacado veggie burritos, and take good care of her. Mother has spoken.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  15. sixsixty


    @herbert-4 You're totally right! Should have mentioned the UV Rays!

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  16. stormey


    Lovely photo's...now I need to know how to shoot beautiful pictures in a country with just rain, rain, rain!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. sirio174



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  18. moodification


    Great article!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  19. jennysparkle


    This made me chuckle at my desk! Might try this! It is always raining in Manchester! Soooooo want ot go to SanFran! x

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. ngjinglingfiona


    So cute (: I live in the perpetually sunny and hot Singapore, so its quite rather amusing to see people missing summer so much haha. I want more of SanFran's weather, sometimes (:

    about 2 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.