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brown paper packages: {photography with lei} watermark your images

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{photography with lei} watermark your images

Hello there!  Today we are going to talk about watermarks.  Why should you watermark your images?  There are a few reasons. First of all, it dissuades others from passing off your photography as their own.  Yes there are people out there posing as photographers, only they are stealing other people's images off the web and displaying them under their name.  It's despicable, but you can make it a lot harder for the with a well placed watermark. Watermarking also allows you to market yourself better.  Should your image get passed around the internet, your watermark may be your only credit.  Hey - who's that awesome photographer?  Ah, her name is on the photo! ;)  Lastly, in the world of Pinterest, where your images may not always get pinned from your site (case in point - my images being pinned via Brown Paper Packages), a watermark identifies you as the owner/creator of that image.  If people are interested enough in your work, they will google your name.  Without a watermark that would not be possible.  Or, the site owner from which the photo was pinned may get the credit instead of you.

The first step in repairing your image for watermarking is to change the resolution of the image to 72dpi. Because no monitor is capable of displaying any more pixels than that, so you may as well reduce the size of your file for ease of uploading he page it's on. I use an action for this - they are out there but mine was created by a friend.  After your image resolution has been changed, you want to sharpen the image for web, because images lose a little bit of clarity online.  I also use an action for this (from Totally Rad Actions, which I've mentioned before).  Now your image is ready for your watermark.

If you have a logo, you can use that for your watermark.  That is what I did in the beginning.  I asked my logo designer for the png/tiff files for this purpose.  I have since modified it to include just my name, just to keep things a little cleaner and simpler.  Some people prefer a band across the bottom of the photo because it looks cleaner and doesn't distract format he image itself.  Some use their URL.  Everyone is different.  If you do not have a logo you can write your own text on your images and create a watermark from there.  I will demonstrate both ways.  And also provide the disclaimer that this is a very simple, basic way to watermark.  I know there are other methods out there, this is just what I've alway done and I'm a creature of habit!

First thing I do is open both my image file and my logo file.

And then, using the move tool (circled in orange on the left there), I drag and drop my watermark file onto my image.

I purposely place the logo semi-overlapping my image.  That is so that it isn't easy to clone out.  I don't plop it not he center of her forehead or anything, just close enough to the image that it' "part" of it, and also draws the eye to the subject rather than away from it.  Of course, anything is possible and some people will go to any length to get rid of that watermark.  Just as some photographers will go to any length to watermark the heck out of their images in an effort to make this hard to do.  I choose to maintain the aesthetics of the photo as much as possible, while also sharing my brand consistently (this watermark was created from exactly what you see on my business cards, minus the logo).  I am going to lighten my logo a bit so that it doesn't look so much like a stamp, by lowering it's opacity (see the orange arrow).

I move my slider to the left and settle on 62%:

Now it's more of a whisper. :)  

Next I flatten my image and save:


Ok, so what if you don't have a logo to watermark with?  Well you can easily add text to your images and create a watermark from there.

First select the text tool as shown here:

Then, place your cursor onto the image and begin typing in the font and size you wish:

Using the move tool again, place your watermark in a hard to remove spot, reduce the opacity to your liking, and then flatten and save.

Voila!  I hope this and all my other tutorials have been helpful.  I've really enjoyed sharing some of my knowledge with you all.  A lot of what I learned was shared with me, so it's been nice to "pay it forward", so to speak. My time has become severely limited lately due to many factors, the most important being my family and my business.  So this is my last tutorial.:(  I hope you will all continue to visit me on my Facebook page and my website/blog, though!  I am launching a new website very soon, so stay tuned to my FB page for the big announcement on that, as well as some other exciting things happening for me!  Take care and keep clickin'!!!



I just want to send a huge thank you to Lei, for all of her fabulous posts over the past year.  It has been an absolute pleasure to have her be a part of BPP, and I know I have learned so much from her tutorials.  I hope you'll still keep up with her through FB and her blog...she has so many wonderful things to share!  



Blogger LuAnn said...

So for me to do this I need some kind of photo shop program, right?

Thanks for the information on this.

May 9, 2012 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Lei said...

That is correct, Lu Ann. Aside from PS itself, there is Gimp, which is free, or photoshop elements, a fair priced lesser version of photoshop. :)

May 9, 2012 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger becky said...

I don't have photoshop either. First of all where do you
change your psi? On the camera? Secondly...what does it mean to flatten and why is that necessary? I have been just typing my name on the image and fade sometimes. Have you ever used any online photo editing? I am going between Pic Monkey and FotoFlexer cuz they have a few more things like collages. I also started using Picassa...not sure if like it or not.

May 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

Becky - you can resize manually, but I use an action. Depending on the program you use, you'll do it under resize/resample image. Something like that. Deselect "resample image" (very important) and then change the resolution to 72 pixels. Flattening collapses all the layers into one, reducing file size. Sorry - I'm not familiar with any of those online editing sites. The only one I've heard of even is Picassa, so I am guessing it's your best bet because it's a popular choice.

May 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

Also be sure to save your 72ppi versions in a separate folder so you aren't overriding your full res images! :)

May 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Heidi @ Moms Crafty Space said...

Would you mind sharing which action you use from The Totally Rad Store for sharpening the images for the web? Thanks so much!

May 11, 2012 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

Heidi - it's appropriately called "sharpen for web". Hahah! It's in the TRA v1. set.

May 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM  

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