I've noticed that when I crop a photo, the histogram does not change. If I am then making changes based on the histogram (ie. exposure, fill light, blacks, etc...), it would seem to me that the histogram would be more useful if it was based only the area I had selected in my crop.

For instance, if the histogram indicates that I have blown highlights, or vastly underexposed parts of my photo, but I have cropped to remove those areas, wouldn't the histogram be more useful if it represented that?

Maybe I'm wrong, if so, please let me know why!

Thanks - Sean

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi @seanmc. Can you make your title reflect the specific question? That's really helpful for people looking through the list of questions on the front page of the site — or in searches. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 18, 2011 at 20:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm, sorry, I was trying to be succinct (not one of my strengths), and thought the actual question was too long to be the title. I've fixed it. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – seanmc
    Dec 18, 2011 at 21:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ DOH! Stupid mistake (see answer and comment below). I'd be just as happy if we could delete this question altogether, as I'm not sure it adds any value to the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – seanmc
    Dec 18, 2011 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ — I think you can delete your own question if you want... \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 18, 2011 at 23:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can't delete it if someone has answered it... \$\endgroup\$
    – seanmc
    Dec 19, 2011 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


The histogram in Lightroom 3 does change. Here's an example:

Full frame

full frame image


cropped image

You'll note that the cropped image has more image information in the top third of the histogram, whereas the uncropped one has more in the lower third. That's what you would expect. So the question is, why aren't you observing this? Are you using Lightroom 3?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm using Lightroom 2.7, but I think I know what the problem is... The photos I was working with have lots of detail in the selected area, and the cropped out areas are mostly greyish (figure skaters on a rink, where the background ice is pretty close to grey). When I crop in tighter on the skaters, there is very little (almost unobservable) change in the histogram. However, as per your example, if I crop in really tight (ie. just to the body of the skater), I can see the histogram move. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. \$\endgroup\$
    – seanmc
    Dec 18, 2011 at 22:24

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