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Digital Photography

Learn about digital photogrphy and photo editing.


Welcome the digital photography section of the Erie county public library Idea Lab Maker Guides. This forum is designed to help beginners and intermediate enthusiasts alike learn more about photography.

Here at the Blasco Library we have a space called the Media Lab. With a valid library card, you can reserve this space and check out the following equipment. A Canon DSLR camera, a green screen, tripod and lighting equipment. On our design computers we have the photo editing software GIMP, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.

If you are new to photography we suggest you make your way through the tabs above before continuing. If you have some understanding of photography feel free to explore the resources tabs on the left of the screen. 

Learning resources on this Maker Guide:

Photography Basics- learn about composition, lighting, manual mode and more.

Photo Editing Software- learn about the photo editing software GIMP, Photoshop and Lightroom.

Projects - offers a few beginner level projects to help you get started. 

Classes - connects you to online classes. 

Books - displays items we have available at our library.


The one thing you need for photography is a camera, a digital camera, a professional level DSLR or a smart phone camera. 

What should you do next? In the vast world of photography there are three terms that all photographers should know and understand in order to start taking photos. 

These terms are ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Watch the video below to gain a better understanding of what these words mean and how it effects your photos.


Now that we have a general understanding of these terms lets take a look at our camera modes. Camera modes are preset functions on your camera. Read the article below to see an explanation of common modes found on most digital cameras.


Time to move on to the next tab to try out a project. This project will help you to better understand your cameras modes.

Photography Project 1 - A Multitude of Modes

For this project we are going to experiment with a variety of camera modes. 

Supplies Needed:

  • An object to photograph
  • A camera or smart phone that has multiple modes to choose from.


1. Select an object to photograph 

2. Pick at least three of the following camera modes to try. 

  • Portrait 
  • Landscape 
  • Sports 
  • Night Portrait 
  • Close-up Mode 
  • Program Mode
  • Aperture Priority Mode
  • Shutter Priority Mode 

3. Take a photo of your object using the three different selected camera modes.  


Note: If you are using a smart phone camera it may have multiple modes but they maybe different then ones listed above. You can still try this project using any three camera modes available on your device.


Example - Using a DSLR Camera 

The first three images used preset modes. The camera made all the decisions for the settings, ISO, aperture and shutter speed. As you can see, there are some minor differences. The last photo is a priority mode. Priority modes allows you to have control over one of the camera settings and the camera will adjust some of the other settings. In this case the shutter speed was set to a faster setting, allowing less light through the lens. Which is why the last photo looks darker than the others.

Example - Using a Smart Phone Camera 

Reflection Questions

Now look over your photos while thinking about the following questions. 

  • Did one of the photos stand out to you? 
  • What about it made it more appealing than the others?
  • Do you think using a variety of camera modes will be beneficial in your future photography?


You have finished our quick intro to photography course. Wondering what to do next? Here are a few suggestions. 

  • Try out more beginner level projects available on our projects page. 
  • If you want more information about photography basics, photo editing software and other photography topics, check out our resource list.
  • Head over to our class page to see a list of free online and in person classes. 
  • Take a look at the books section to see what items the library has available.