This Photographer Is Brilliantly Capturing San Francisco’s Rainbow Szn — on His Smartphone

Seeing rainbows halo San Francisco is a mesmerizing, jaw-dropping spectacle — one that never gets old.

From now until the end of February, the San Francisco Bay Area will experience its wettest weeks. During this span of time, most of the year’s precipitation will fall — around 60% of the annual total.

By proxy, this also means that rainbows will ring the Bay Area with more frequency than any span of time in the calendar year. (You might even find yourself in the gray glow of a rare “fogbow.”)

One photographer has an affinity for this time of year and, fortunate for us, his skill sets capturing this light bending has produced a photography catalog of breathtaking Bay Area rainbows.

But some rainbows are simply better than others. Bay Area-based shutterbug Stuart Berman — the local photographer mentioned prior, who we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the past two years  — has his favorites.

Photo: Courtesy of Stuart Berman

“Perhaps my favorite rainbow spotting, as opposed to the fogbow you wrote about in October, was on Christmas Day in 2020,” he tells Underscore. “I was up early to watch/shoot the sunrise and it was beautiful as usual. I was out on Aquatic Pier, which is sadly closed for the foreseeable future due to damage looking towards the sunrise/downtown when a woman walked by and said ‘look behind you!’”

Berman continues, saying that when he turned around, a “gorgeous and huge rainbow” was blanketing San Francisco Bay and perfectly framed the Golden Gate Bridge, as pictured in this article’s feature image.

Photo: Courtesy of Stuart Berman

“After the difficult year we’d all had in 2020, it felt like more than just a rainbow, but a harbinger of hope for better times to come,” he adds, which reads as a perfectly fitting sentiment that still rings true.

Given that the rainy season in the Bay Area coincided with darker winter months, Berman waxes that searching for rainbows has given him something to look forward to on a rainy day: “I’ll consider that a victory.”

Berman has also captured Bay Area rainbows using slow-motion/time-lapse techies, though he usually doesn’t let them run too long without property photographing the rainbows before they fade away. 

As per usual, Berman’s ready-to-shoot camera of choice remains his Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra; it’s the same smartphone he used to capture the stunning, viral “fogbow” that transpired earlier in the fall.

With a good amount of time left until the SF’s wettest time of the year sunsets, let’s hope Mother Nature positions Berman in the right place and the right time to capture even more gorgeous stills of Bay Area rainbows.

You can find Berman’s photos on Instagram at [at]stuinsf; he also sells prints of his work at

Feature image: Courtesy of Berman

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