What is exposure compensation and how do you use it? There are plenty of situations where using exposure compensation can improve your photos – at weddings, around a campfire, at air shows, taking shots of a nighttime skyline, etc. Exposure compensation exists on your camera so you can add brightness to images that come out too dark, or to remove brightness in images that are too bright to begin with. That’s it, plain and simple. Here are some tips on how and when to use exposure compensation.