When & Why to Use Exposure Compensation

For those of you getting used to new cameras, fully understanding exposure compensation with snow on the ground outside is a great place to start.

Ever wished you had a better control over exposure when taking photos? 
Exposure compensation is a useful technique that allows you to quickly fix exposure issues when taking photos in semi-manual modes like Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority and Program Mode.

Exposure compensation allows you to incrementally change the exposure around the default settings suggested by the camera after metering the scene.

It’s usually needed when there are excessive bright or dark regions in a scene. Dialing in an exposure compensation corrects the exposure according to your requirement.

If your image turns out darker than you had wanted (an underexposed shot), a positive exposure compensation can fix the exposure. Likewise, for overexposed shots, a negative exposure compensation is needed.

The amount of exposure compensation you need would depend on the scene and the lighting.

Take a look at the scene below: 

A scene that is predominantly white, like a snow covered landscape, can fool your camera into capturing the snow as grey in color by using the default, metered exposure settings (which is what the camera is programmed to do, and which works fine in most cases). An exposure compensation of about +2 lets you capture the snow as white.

It’s something to always remember when out taking photographs.