Today I found this very respectable eight point buck bedded down in the shade. Despite being patient and waiting for him to move to a better location, he instead, walked deeper into the woods. I used the opportunity to take some photos and apply exposure compensation to them in order to demonstrate the effect.
Here is a photograph viewed full frame just as the camera recorded it. There is no compensation applied and the light meter is trying to compensate for the brightness of the field and trees instead of providing the correct exposure for the buck resting in the shade. What, you don’t see the deer?
In the photo below I have heavily cropped the image so that the deer is visible but no exposure compensation is applied.
Here I have dialed in +0.3 stops of compensation.
Now I have added +0.7 stops of compensation.
Here is the effect of +1 full stop of compensation.
Finally, here is +2 stops of compensation.
I hope this makes the use of exposure compensation a bit clearer to those who have never tried using it. Almost all digital cameras have this capability and sometimes it may be the only way to get the photo that you desire.