Teens take learning outside the classroom


Students at Glen Cove High School flexed their creative muscles at the Glen Cove Library on May 9. The 17 students visited, part of the school’s Photo Two class, comes during National Photography Month, and will showcase a series of captivating images taken within the library in June in the library’s community room. From using books as props to adding artistic touches, the photos captured the essence of the library environment, and much more.
Under the guidance of photography teacher Melissa Johnides, students explored the unique opportunities presented by their surroundings. Johnides, who has been teaching digital photography for 16 years, encouraged her students to consider the lighting, composition, and subject matter to create visually compelling photographs. She added that the trip was a great opportunity for her students to focus on “real world” techniques outside the classroom.
“I wanted my students to think outside the box and utilize the resources available to them in the library,” said Johnides. “It was an opportunity for them to use the environment to create pictures that were unique to them.”
The students eagerly embraced the challenge, experimenting with different styles and techniques to bring their visions to life. Some opted for a more photojournalistic approach, capturing candid moments of library patrons and staff members, while others took a more creative route, staging scenes with books and incorporating artistic elements.
Natalie Nacnow, a student with a passion for horror-themed photography, found inspiration in the library’s collection of books. She saw many book titles that intrigued her and matched her interests.

“I wanted to make the cover art come alive, adding elements that reflected the stories within,” Nacnow said. “ I really like these kind of trips because it gets me into the community. And it lets me put my art out there in a way that I can’t normally do.”
Nacnow’s photos, which included titles like “Love and Field Notes” and “Hell Followed With Us,” featured creative interpretations of the book covers, with added elements like blood dripping down shelves and notes spilling out of books. She also added that photography
The students’ work culminated in a photo exhibit titled “Visual Stories from the Glen Cove Public Library,” which will be displayed in the community room of the Glen Cove Public Library in June. The exhibit will showcase the diverse talents of the students and highlight the role of photography as a powerful storytelling medium.
“It just gets me back into the focus of something that I love to do,” Nacnow said. “I really like these kind of trips because it gets me into the community. And it lets me put my art out there in a way that I can’t normally do.”