Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To Watermark! (and how to watermark your pics)

rose outside a lobster shack

So I decided to watermark my pics. First of all, let me stress what I am not saying by watermarking my pics - I am not saying I'm a masterful, professional photographer. I am also not saying I don't want anyone to blog my pics (I actually love it when people blog my pics!) I am not saying I have an inflated ego and need to put a corporate-like stamp on everything I create. :) I am also totally cool with sharing ideas, and if you're inspired by the crafts I make and photograph, that's cool - don't feel like my watermark implies that I "own" every idea you see here.

I just feel like I've crossed a bridge in terms of my photos - I'm finally recognizing some are good, and I merely want to identify them as they float along in this big, internet sea. Also, I'm less keen on obsessively checking my popularity on Flickr Explore - because a visible watermark or text on your photos will keep them out of Explore rankings (beware of that, if it's important to you - it's no longer important to me). Some picky Flickr groups also delete photos with watermarks - so you might want to check your favorite group's rules beforehand.

Putting a watermark on a photo does not deter people who are determined to steal your photo - small watermarks can easily be cropped or cloned out like they were in this case. Again, I know rapscallion "photo thieves" are out there, and there's nothing I can do to change that. :) A watermark is simply my way of "signing" my work, and acknowledging that a great deal of time, care, and editing went into each photo you see on my blog. It also shows that I have an interest in protecting the copyright on my images, and will (hopefully) make people hesitate before using my images without asking.

So now that I've explained why I'm watermarking - here's the how-to! Many thanks to this tutorial which got me started!

How to Watermark - Photoshop

  1. Open your image.

  2. Use the text tool to add a copyright symbol (Windows shortcut: Alt+0169 ; Mac shortcut: Option+G) and text, the best color to use is gray.

  3. Double click the text layer in the layer palette to bring up the Layer Style window.

  4. Select "Drop Shadow" and "Inner Glow" and adjust the opacity to about 50% or until it is as transparent or opaque as you desire:

    rose outside a lobster shack

How to Watermark - Flickr (Picnik)
Did you know you can edit your photos directly from Flickr (using Picnik)? The results are almost identical, and it's free!

  1. Log in to Flickr and select a photo you want to edit.

  2. Click "Edit photo" above your photo. (You may need to give a one-time permission for Picnik to access your Flickr pics)

  3. Click the "Create" tab.

  4. Click "Text" and add a copyright symbol (Windows shortcut: Alt+0169 ; Mac shortcut: Option+G) and text.

  5. Adjust the "Fade" setting to make your text transparent.

  6. Click "Save" to save your image to Flickr (you can either save as a new image or replace the old one):

    sparrow chirping

Presto! All that's missing in Picnik is Drop Shadow, but it still looks good. I hope these were good explanations because I can't answer a lot of detailed questions on Photoshop or Picnik, but there is tons of help on both those topics online. And thank you to everyone who commented and helped me decide to watermark my pics!


Kristi said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I tried out your instructions on one of my private photos (using Picnik), and it worked great. Good info to have if I ever need to watermark my public photos...which I doubt I will 'cause no one is that interested in my pics, lol.

susanc said...

Thank you for the great tutorial. I will have to give it a try, although I can't imagine that my pictures or blog would be that interesting to anyone! On my jewelry creations, etc., though, I think I will be watermarking them.