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

2012-07-13 20

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.

Credits: 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.

Credits: sixsixty

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!

Credits: sixsixty

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!

Credits: sixsixty

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.

Credits: sixsixty

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).

Credits: sixsixty

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.

Credits: sixsixty

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.

Credits: sixsixty

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!

Credits: sixsixty

written by sixsixty on 2012-07-13 #gear #tutorials #summer #pool #san-francisco #tutorial #ball #filter #bubbles #tipster #lomography #diy-filter #cityslicker #cityslickers #instantfun #instantsummer


  1. andrus_n
    andrus_n ·

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

  2. qlamerand
    qlamerand ·

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

  3. sixsixty
    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.

  4. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

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

  5. megustastu
    megustastu ·

    Gloomy summer in San Diego too.

  6. maria_vlachou
    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!

  7. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

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

  8. maria_vlachou
    maria_vlachou ·

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

  9. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

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

  10. megustastu
    megustastu ·

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

  11. paradox23
    paradox23 ·


  12. buckshot
    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!

  13. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

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

  14. herbert-4
    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.

  15. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

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

  16. stormey
    stormey ·

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

  17. sirio174
    sirio174 ·


  18. moodification
    moodification ·

    Great article!

  19. jennysparkle
    jennysparkle ·

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

  20. ngjinglingfiona
    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 (:

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