Perhaps someone could explain the difference between shooting film vs transparency.
Not to be rude, but if beginners read this....... Transparency is still film.
There are two major types of film. Positives (also called transparency, trannys, slides...) and negatives (also called negs, print film...). They are each available in colour and black and white.
When shooting positives you can see the image in its final form by projecting it, or you can have prints made from it. Generally positives have less latitude (they see a narrower range from brightest to darkest) so more care must be taken with exposure when shooting to get it right. Slides generally have more contrast and more useable colours. Slide film is also a faster way to learn about getting correct exposure as your mistakes will be very obvious.
When shooting negatives the image must be printed (or scanned and reversed) for you to see the final image. This means the printer as well as the photographer has an impact on how colours are rendered. Negative film has a wider latitude than positive film so a wider range of tones will be recorded. Many people interpret this as being a licence to let the film cover any errors in setting correct exposure. If you get all you printing done at cheap labs you might as well as they and you are not really getting all the information available on your film. However to get the best results from negatives you need to get your exposure right just like sllide film. Then a good printer can get awesome results for you. Learning exposure using negatives takes more times as small differences can be compensated for by the person printing your pictures. You also rely on them to choose your colour palette.
Jump off soap box.
In John Shaw's books he describes correct exposure as getting the scene exposed as you wanted it to be. I like this as it means if you want a scene that is light in reality to look dark on film, fine. It's all up to you. So you compose you subject and decide what tone it is going to have.
Your camera, wonderful thing it is, is not capable of making a subjective decision like this. Even with its 35 metering zones etc it still is not capable of seeing a scene the way YOU want it to be. It measures every scene for the average.
If you decide a scene should be darker (or lighter) than average then this is when you can use exposure compensation. We all used to have to revert to manual (and we still can) to have total control over exposure. Now we can simply dial in the difference we want.
Everone uses the example of a white wall and how the meter sees it a mid grey and you need to add exposure to make it appear white on film. While this is true, its been quite a while since I photographed a blank white wall. I prefer to think of the mood I want to create.
I know how my camera meter sees a subject (experience) and I make a decision as to whether I agree or dissagree with the recommended settings. If I disagree then I use exposure compensation. I never assume that my camera will see the world the way I want it to be seen. For example if I know I want a sillouette and I also know my cameras meter will try to make the same subject a mid tone, I will use exposure compensation to make sure my subject is the very dark tone I wanted.
It takes time and some film to learn how your camera meter thinks and when you need to overide its decision. Keep shooting and analysing and it will come to you.