Watermarking your images…


And is it really worth it?

Only the other day I was asked by a commenter about adding a watermark to  images and how to stop people stealing your images.  Well, to put it bluntly, you can’t unless you add a bold watermark across your image, which in turn distracts the viewer from the image and makes them move on as they can’t see the image beyond the watermark.

Nobody wants to see an image with a large watermark across it.  And I’ve learnt over the years.. the safest way to safeguard your image is to add your details in camera.  Many cameras have a menu setting where you can add your copyright info to your EXIF data.

And with software editing programmes it doesn’t take much to crop out a watermark or even clone them out in Photoshop.  So why do I still add a watermark to my images?  And why do I position it in the bottom right-hand corner with low opacity?

Try this little experiment!

If you are on a laptop or computer, bring up an image.. if not stare at a picture on the wall… close your eyes for a few seconds and then open and your eye will probably go straight to the left-hand side of the image.  And that is because Westerners mainly read from left to right… so our eye is automatically drawn there.

And the last thing you want is for your watermark to be the initial focus point when someone views one of your images.  So I always limit my watermark to the bottom right-hand corner of the image.

Riverside Marina Boats
Boats moored at Riverside Marina in Hampshire.

So if people can crop or clone out your watermark why do I still bother adding one?

Well that is because I like the viewer to see that the image was created by us… and within my watermark is our website address.  So if a reader finds my image on the internet then they have an idea of where it came from and our website address.  That is the only reason I add watermarks.

So how do I add a watermark?

Well the program that I use constantly is Lightroom, so I created our watermark in Photoshop and then added the graphic to water feature within Lightroom and then I created an export Preset for images.

Watermarking Your Photographs in Lightroom
Creating Export Presets using your Watermarks for the web.

And if you use WordPress to host your blog or website, then you can create a Preset in Lightroom where you can directly send your images to WordPress instead of having to save them on your computer and then uploading them to WordPress

Tutorial – Exporting to WordPress directly from Lightroom

Conclusion

It is like anything… the only fail-safe method of stopping people stealing your images is not to put them on the internet at all.  And if you enjoy your photography and want to showcase your images well that is a non-starter, in my opinion.  So add your Copyright info in camera and all the time you have the original images.. well you can of cause take legal action if necessary, if asking them to remove the image fails; should someone does decide to steal an image.

And if you want to see if one of your images has been stolen you can always use TinEye to see if someone is using your image as their own.

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Written by Bren (Ryan-Photography)

Bren Ryan is a female amateur photographer and blogger who along with her husband, Ashley, have created a photography blog called Ryan Photography which showcases the places they've visited on their photography journey. Bren and Ashley primarily concentrate their photographic skills on landscape, architecture and floral subjects. Based in the South East of England they hope to give their readers an insight into the wonderful and beautiful landscapes, buildings and places that the South of England has to offer.

18 comments

  1. It’s a pain to add the watermark but I always do it. If people really want your phot, they will just take it. I remove my own watermarks when reediting an image, it’s so easy to do.

    Like

  2. I had thought about watermarking or adding the standard boilerplate warning of dire consequences if someone uses my images without permission but I’ve opted out of both because the former can be edited out and the latter ignored.
    I don’t sell my images and have no plans to (If I did I might likely have a different point of view).
    This was a helpful article. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I add watermarks due to sharing on social media and having an image that was mine used on social media in the days before I water marked them. Nice tip about placement in the bottom right although I always try to be central but minimal distraction.

    Like

  4. This was most interesting, Bren. I post a lot of dog/cat photos so feel pretty sure no one will be stealing those! 🙂 But I do want to check out my camera’s menu settings…just in case. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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