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  1. #1

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    Watermarking Photos Posted Online: How Can I Do This?

    I know there are a number of photographers/graphic design types here, so I'm hoping someone can help me out.

    I want to post some photos online and put a watermark on them. I know this won't eliminate image theft entirely, but I'm hoping it will at least discourage the thieves to try easier pickings. I use both iPhoto and Digital Photo Pro (Canon's own image editing software). Neither have a built-in watermarking function, so I would like to hear any recommendations for plug-ins or downloads that will do this for me.

    Thanks for any suggestions!!
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  2. #2
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    You want a physical watermark, right? Text over your photo? Then you'll need a program that can change the opacity of layers. Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro are the ones I've used.

    Basically what I do is type whatever words (copyright me) in white, then make the layer 50% opacity - higher or lower depending on the colors in the photo. Then flatten and save as JPG.

  3. #3
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    ...and make it large enough and centered so it can't be cropped out
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

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    I'm surprised that Canon's software doesn't have a watermarking feature. All you really need is the ability to put text over the image.

    Yes, in order to prevent them from being stolen, you'll need to open the files and watermark them one at a time. If you have Photoshop, you can make a watermark PS file with transparency and then record an action to place it onto an image and save it, so it won't be so tedious: http://www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=64

    There's also code you can insert into a webpage (if you're putting it onto your own website) that prevents right-clicking on a site. Doesn't completely stop people from stealing the photo (you can still take a screengrab or dig through the site's HTML code), but it's another method. Another deterrent is making it so low res that it's not worth stealing.

  5. #5
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    You can do it in Illustrator, as well. But, if you have Illustrator, you probably have Photoshop. And that might be faster.

    Isn't there a way to block copying of photos? I have been on some shopping sites, where you can print a page, but the photo is blank.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post

    There's also code you can insert into a webpage (if you're putting it onto your own website) that prevents right-clicking on a site.
    The photo site smugmug.com has that option. I'm still able to right-click on my pictures and save it to my hard-drive in jpeg though, but I thought the option is supposed to prevent that.

    I don't watermark my pictures, because I can't enjoy looking at them with my big name splashed across it.

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    My smugmug page is right-click disabled and it's working, maybe you should check your setting again.

    Why don't you set your gallery to Lockdown mode so that prospective thieves would need a password to get in?
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the suggestions/insight. I feel better informed now!

    I have a site on Wordpress that I'm going to use for photos, but I want to display the photos and to direct potential buyers to site(s) where they can buy prints if they so wish (I don't want to go through the hassle of producing, billing and shipping prints myself). I have some photos already for sale at one site, and I'm going to put the rest on Smugmug, both of which are pretty download-proof. So I want to be able to watermark the photos on the Wordpress site.

    It appears that Adobe Photoshop Elements, which I think is all a rank amateur such as myself will need, is on sale until Jan. 6, so I'm going to pick that up and see what I can do.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  9. #9

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    I've used Photoshop Elements for about three years now--there are a ton of tutorials out there, and you can always ask me questions--I use it for digital scrapbooking, so what you want to do with it is something I understand.
    "Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    You can do it in Illustrator, as well. But, if you have Illustrator, you probably have Photoshop. And that might be faster.

    Isn't there a way to block copying of photos? I have been on some shopping sites, where you can print a page, but the photo is blank.
    Illustrator is pretty specialized. I don't see how a layperson would have it on their computer, relative to Photoshop.

    If a photo is blank when you print a webpage, that's probably done at the code level. It would be easy to circumvent that if you knew your way around code. Not that many people would, but I have saved photos from sites that were right-click disabled or had the photo set as a background image, hidden in the CSS. That's another trick that would prevent most people from downloading your images, but not all.

    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions/insight. I feel better informed now!

    I have a site on Wordpress that I'm going to use for photos, but I want to display the photos and to direct potential buyers to site(s) where they can buy prints if they so wish (I don't want to go through the hassle of producing, billing and shipping prints myself). I have some photos already for sale at one site, and I'm going to put the rest on Smugmug, both of which are pretty download-proof. So I want to be able to watermark the photos on the Wordpress site.

    It appears that Adobe Photoshop Elements, which I think is all a rank amateur such as myself will need, is on sale until Jan. 6, so I'm going to pick that up and see what I can do.
    If your concern is that people are going to download your images instead of buying prints, the most direct way to prevent that is to make your webpage photos small. Too small for print. Low-res photos don't print out well at all, especially if you try to blow them up. People will have to go to you to get good print quality.

    Low-res images is something even I can't fix.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    If your concern is that people are going to download your images instead of buying prints, the most direct way to prevent that is to make your webpage photos small. Too small for print. Low-res photos don't print out well at all, especially if you try to blow them up. People will have to go to you to get good print quality.
    The only problem I can see with doing that is that these are kind of arty photos. I'm not sure if they are going to be attractive enough or have enough impact in low-res or small displays for people to want to investigate further.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    The only problem I can see with doing that is that these are kind of arty photos. I'm not sure if they are going to be attractive enough or have enough impact in low-res or small displays for people to want to investigate further.
    Shouldn't be a major issue for a website, though. I mean, a 1024x768 image (which would be a desktop wallpaper for most, and PLENTY big for a website preview even on larger screens) is not even 3x4 printed out in photo quality, which is 300 pixels per inch. They try to print bigger, it'll be pixellated.

    Unless you anticipate small images being the bulk of your print sales. But I don't think that will be the case.

  13. #13
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    You could also just download Gimp or use Pixlr online.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Illustrator is pretty specialized. I don't see how a layperson would have it on their computer, relative to Photoshop.
    Yes, but most people I know who have Illustrator buy the Adobe Creative Suites. That is Illustrator, Photoshop, & InDesign - bundled. It's much cheaper to buy, that way. So, while many people would just have Photoshop, people who have Illustrator would probably have both. And a layperson would probably have Photoshop Elements, not the full program - that would also be more cost effective in the suite.

  15. #15

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    Here's a free program you can use to work with your photos -- Paint.net -- and here's instructions on how to use the program to create watermarks.
    Haunting the Princess of Pink since 20/07/11...

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    Aperture has a great watermarking feature that has saved me a boatload of time in my digital workflow. Essentially, all my photos get automatically watermarked and resized to my specifications whenever I export them. I used to open the pictures up in Photoshop, one at a time, but it was so time consuming. So - depending on how often you expect to need to do this, it would be worth looking into Aperture (perhaps lightroom has the same feature as well? I'm not sure).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erica Lee View Post
    Aperture has a great watermarking feature that has saved me a boatload of time in my digital workflow. Essentially, all my photos get automatically watermarked and resized to my specifications whenever I export them. I used to open the pictures up in Photoshop, one at a time, but it was so time consuming. So - depending on how often you expect to need to do this, it would be worth looking into Aperture (perhaps lightroom has the same feature as well? I'm not sure).
    Yes, Lightroom has it too. I use Lightroom and it's exactly as you described with Aperture. Very awesome watermarking feature, it's brainless actually.
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reuven View Post
    Not sayin' nuthin'....
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