I am going to be very honest. If you follow the instructions and the LCD screen does not come on or if it lights up but there is no menu on the bottom and no image, send it back. The LCD screen on the first one I purchased didn't work so I exchanged it and the next one worked.
Turn the round light control button on thr right of the base 3 clicks to maximum light. Hold the on button on lower right on the digital screen. Make sure you have one of the 3 objectives - the interchangable lenses that swing around - properly seated. If it is even slightly not in place directly in the middle, you will not see anything. If you gently try to swing the 3 objective feature you will feel a definite click when each lens is seated. Hope this helps. You also have to have your viewed item in focus before an image can be seen.
You just select that function from the menu button, you can also make a video, there is also a micro chip slot to which you can expand your microscope's memory capacity. I have even made excellent powerpoints and videos using the Celestron
Check out the menu list and you should see how to take a photo or even a video. Also get yourself a micro memory card and install that for expanded memory. I've taken lots of photos and used them in power points, also I've used the videos to make short programs~