View Full Version : Watermarking

05-11-2006, 10:47 PM
How do you watermark your photos? Simple text and a graphic you insert into your photos or something more?

05-12-2006, 07:54 AM

This is what I use. Not that you can't just use photoshop to do it, but after trying this, its made my digital workflow a little smoother than just using PS to do it, which was the old way I used to do it.


05-12-2006, 08:29 AM
I'm actually against watermarking. It's at best extra work and at worst ugly and distracting. (And for some reason some people appear to be in a contest for the worst and ugliest watermarking possible.) Watermarking won't really protect you in any way, either. Anybody who wants to edit it out or just plain doesn't care can edit and post it however they please. And you own the copyright to the image regardless of whether it's noted on the image itself or not. It is however admittedly useful if you want to get known for your photos. Or, in some cases, you really do need some sort of contact information on your photos.

If you're going to do it, try to do the following. Keep it as unobtrusive and un-distracting as possible. Try listing just a website or email address to this end. It's often a good tip to edit in a border around your photos (though this is a very subjective matter, especially when you're posting pictures on the internet). The best watermarks I've seen are the ones that are small, in the border of an image. See this example: http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view;jsessionid=alNOQI7glcwduLXWOS?id=1748572&forward=

It's a bit big, but other than that is pretty much how I think a water mark can be done without being obtrusive.

But, again, I'm not the only person who abhors watermarks on their own photos. On my webpage, I have a small note asking for credit and/or a link to my page, which works out better than a watermark in most cases anyways.

Long story short, if you do it, keep it small and simple, but you may be better off not doing it at all.

05-12-2006, 10:12 AM
Yes, watermarking to me is just meant for exposure. Keeping that in mind, while you own the copyrights, I have found that the best methods for keeping control of your images lies in taking care of access and distribution.

Copyright cases, even when dealing with signed agreements, can be fishy and the legal battle can wind up being expensive. Any image you wish to distribute you should register with the copyright office. http://www.copyright.gov/

This helps, and all you need to do is send in a proof sheet. As soon as it arrives, its timestamped and considered yours. You can do it before any post processing, and many photographers will drop it in the mail the same day its shot.

While you own the copyright to any work you create, the fight to defend that copyright becomes much easier when the copyright office holds evidence that you're in the right.

Watermarks, however, are not only useful in pictures you wish to get credit for, but also to mark proofs before printing them. This way when you offer proofs to clients, they have copies that are marked, and are in the position to purchase actual prints if they are interested in a copy.


Drngd Kreationz
05-14-2006, 06:22 AM
I just use mine for exposure, The images that make it to the web are so Small they won't make great prints or enlargements. I try to keep it as small and out of the way as possible. but Its just to generate more web traffic on my end.

/shameless plug "you can check out what my watermark looks like by going to my website and clicking the link below :p" /shameless plug

LOL enjoy.

05-15-2006, 07:02 PM
Watermark with a 30-50% white on outter edge of photograph. Done through either Adobe's batch tools or through command line ImageMagick toolsets.

Also embed EXIF/IPTC copyright information into the image, which doesn't impact image quality.

Depending on which nation/country, you need to display the copyright marker for your work to be protected. In some countries, you get no protection even if you have it. In the US, you are protected from the day you shoot the picture, HOWEVER, you will have a firmer leg to stand on if you do the following:
- watermark your images to indicate that your image is copyrighted, protected.
- register your images with the copyright office.

You don't _have to_, but it is to your benefit to do so.

05-15-2006, 08:05 PM
What about for simple text watermarking in paintshop pro?

05-16-2006, 12:09 AM
I remember seeing something where you can put an invisible watermark... if you have photoshop (well I'd bet there are ways to do it in other art programs too)

Lemme just find the url...

ahh there: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/8023576/

um... sometimes the images don't work. Luckily though, I've saved this file on my computer and attached it to this post ^_^ (the quality kinda stinks because it is a big file so I had to shrink it down ^^;;)

05-16-2006, 07:20 AM
Good information for everyone, Redroses. I believe many other programs offer this sort of watermark. Other interesting forms of identification come in the forms of metadata, and imprinted data.

I know the canon 1d, 1ds, 5d, 30d, 20d, and i *think* the 350d can all imprint your camera's serial number into your image data. This means any images taken can be traced back to your camera. Is it removable? I'm sure people can remove anything. But its not too often that people know about serial numbers, and it is contained in the image data seperate from the exposure information. So you can remove the exif without ever clearing out this serial number stamp.

Since most people don't think about it, it has helped many photographers in cases, simply by bringing the image that was taken to court, along with the camera used to take it.

These are all methods at slightly more secure ways to track images back to the author. Defeatable, yea. But it's far more common for your average image thief to just remove what he sees when he takes it for himself. Most are not thinking far enough ahead to worry about what they can't see.

Very helpful to those that haven't used invisible watermarks, Redroses. Thanks again for the post!


05-16-2006, 11:56 AM
Embedding copyright info into the image data(stenography), is an iffy science and isn't recoverable in cases where the image has been greatly resized or otherwise altered. I know, I've been following the technology since it came out and the information embedded into the image itself will not survive if the image is significantly altered. It will also degrade the image's quality.

Exif/IPTC tagging (otherwise known as meta tagging) is a better option as it does not harm the quality of your pictures. However, some image manipulation programs might strip out the information when it does something as simple as a rotate. :( So your milleage may vary. Doesn't hurt to take multiple routes. ^_-

05-16-2006, 12:05 PM
indeed. I think what redroses was referring to, was for simple low res shots for galleries such as cosplay.com's.

After all, when doing work professionally where you are concerned about a legal or financial claim to your images, you would use signatures on terms and conditions, as well as copyright office submissions to control the circulation and rights to your images. After all, proper filing and paperwork is the only way to protect your hard work.

I'm pretty sure we're just talking for low res images for things like this.


05-16-2006, 12:33 PM
That's true. ^_^;; I've seen overkill watermarking where the picture itself couldn't be seen.

Btw, awesome photographs in your omp gallery, staereo!

02-25-2007, 07:17 PM
Ok, now I'm having issues. I'm trying to make a simple text transparent gif to use as a watermark (using Picture Shark to add the watermark to images), and its not coming out right. I'm trying to make it a transparent gif in PSP and having issues. Any advice or tips please?

02-25-2007, 07:48 PM
Kind of generic, but create a new transparant layer. Add text to the layer. Save as png or gif.

Problem may be youre not creating the image on a transparent layer?


02-25-2007, 07:49 PM
That's true. ^_^;; I've seen overkill watermarking where the picture itself couldn't be seen.

Btw, awesome photographs in your omp gallery, staereo!

Never saw this, so a belated thank you to you.


02-25-2007, 08:21 PM
Ok, seems like its still not working, the transparency is there, but not showing up right it seems with picture shark. Here's an example:

All I'm wanting to do is make a simple text watermark (likely using the red and black, or may change to other colors) for my photos. ugh.