Chris Rutter shows how you can lighten or darken shots using exposure compensation
Or possibly darken down, as you explore the effects of exposure compensation on your photographs
Exposure compensation is used to make your shots lighter or darker. You can use it to correct the exposure for a second shot if the first one isn’t correctly exposed, but with practice you can also predict when you are likely to need it before you take a shot. The basic principle is based on whether the image contains mostly dark or light tones.
The type of exposure compensation that you need to use in most shooting situations is a little counter-intuitive. If the whole image contains mostly light tones and colours, the camera will actually under-expose the image, so you will need to set the exposure compensation to a plus value. On the other hand, if the image is mostly dark the camera will over-expose, so you need to set the exposure compensation to a minus value.
Even though changing the exposure compensation will give you more or less exposure in aperture-priority (A), shutter-priority (S) and Program (P) exposure modes, it will affect different settings in each mode to achieve these changes. So, in program mode it will alter both the shutter speed and aperture, unless it’s reached the maximum or minimum setting available in either setting, whereas in aperture-priority it will change only the shutter speed, and in shutterpriority it will change the aperture.
In fully manual exposure mode you set both the shutter speed and aperture yourself, so any exposure compensation won’t directly affect either setting. If you set exposure compensation in manual it will simply shift the suggested settings for the ‘correct’ exposure displayed on the exposure meter readout.
Because of this, unless you are shooting several images that will all be in the same lighting conditions it’s not a good idea to use exposure compensation in manual mode, as it’s very easy to forget that you have it set, which will affect the exposure of every shot that you take. As you have complete control over the settings, it’s easier to leave the exposure compensation set to zero, and then use the exposure metering display to set values that will give more or less exposure than the meter suggests.
0 (No compensation)