Marc Silber

In many respects, the seeds of photographer Marc Silber’s latest book, Create: Tools from Seriously Talented People to Unleash Your Creative Life, were sown at Peninsula School in Menlo Park.

“I spent my entire childhood there,” he said, recalling how his father, a doctor at Dibble Hospital [now SRI] during World War II, had bought a plot of land on Edge Rd. when it was still a dirt road with horses on it.

“Creativity is what was fostered at Peninsula.

“The real magic for me was my 7th grade teacher introducing me to the school’s dark room and showing me how to develop film and make prints. Then I built a dark room in my parent’s house. I took lots of photos of my classmates and developed them myself. I had control over the process. That’s when I became a photographer.”

In writing Create, Marc is hoping readers will rediscover how to live a more creative life. He shows how to avoid the traps of procrastination, overthinking and self-doubt by using specific exercises designed to help find certainty and confidence in self-expression.

Creativity is  subject he’s addressed at speaking engagements around the country as well as on his popular YouTube series Advancing Your Photography. It was, alas, not something he felt was being fostered when he entered Menlo-Atherton High School as a freshman. “It was like hitting a brick wall,” he recalled.

After transferring to alternative Pacific High School on Skyline Blvd., he attended a year at a prep school in Vermont where he “learned what it was like to get into an academic environment.”

Back at M-A for his senior year, he found he was getting a rehash of subjects learned in Vermont. “But I found out I was a just a credit short of graduating. There was a former Peninsula School teacher who would take a small group of students to a super remote mountain area of Mexico.

“I went to see the principal at M-A to see if this could fulfill my one credit and he agreed to let me go. So, off I went to Mexico for the last semester with my Rolleifix camera.

“It’s the basis of a chapter in Create on making your own creative opportunities even if you get stuck somewhere. It was my great escape!”

Note: Marc will be speaking about Create on Aug. 21 at 6:30 pm at the Harrison Memorial Library located at the corner of Ocean Ave and, Lincoln St., Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Self portrait by Marc Silber; photo from trip to Mexico by Marc Silber; both used with permission


{ 1 comment }

Take a photo walk with Marc Silber and Thomas Hawk

Menlo Park-based photographer Marc Silber sent InMenlo a heads up about a photo walk he’s organizing with fellow photographer Thomas Hawk this Saturday, June 26. He emails: “Meet up for coffee 8:30-9:oo am at Cafe Zoe (929 Menalto Avenue). We’ll go out  at 9:oo to Peninsula School,  full of interesting places for great images. Bring […]

Click to read more →

Spotted: Marc Silber at Cafe Zoe, just barely

He almost missed his own reception: Marc Silber was sidelined by thunderstorms affecting Chicago air traffic after a presentation in Indiana. Nevertheless, the peripatetic photog went from airport to Cafe Zoe to greet a clutch of well-wishers, before slowing down enough to be snapped near one of his studies of a scene in France’s famed […]

Click to read more →

Reception for photographer Marc Silber at Cafe Zoe

Representative work of photographer Marc Silber – spanning more years than he cares to admit – is currently on display at Cafe Zoe in Menlo Park. There will a reception on Saturday, June 5 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. All are welcome to stop by and hear Marc’s stories behind the images. Cafe Zoe is […]

Click to read more →

Marc Silber: Advancing photography from his Menlo Park studio

Marc Silber has been selling his photographs since he was an eighth grader at Peninsula School, where he both learned photography and was introduced to Ansel Adams, an experience he still cherishes decades later. Setting out with a Leica he bought from a teacher for $200, Marc went on to the San Francisco Art Institute […]

Click to read more →