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winger 12-24-2009 02:45 PM

Watermarking on website?
I know it's not likely to get me much, if anything, but I'm going to submit my website to some of the places listed in the Photographer's Market book. I have to do some editing on the site anyway before I do it so I was wondering if I should add a copyright watermark to my photos.
I'm not totally happy with how that looks, but I want to make it a little less easy for people to grab the photos and use them without going through me. I sorta doubt someone at one of these companies would do so, but I've heard that it happens.

chaud 12-24-2009 04:42 PM

I am really torn about the issues around watermarking images. I understand the need but some of them are so garish that they detract from the quality of the image. I think if you are really worried about losing control of your image, you should include a watermark that can't be removed or edited out.

winger 12-24-2009 05:07 PM

I've been figuring that if I did it, I'd do it as a layer in PSE and make it so the background shows through. That way it can't just be stripped like the metadata can. I think that might make it harder to take off since it'll be within the photo. And I'll probably need to put it far enough from the edge of the photo that cropping it will make the photo less usable.
I still don't really love the look, though.

Jim Jones 12-24-2009 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by winger (Post 48937)
. . . I still don't really love the look, though.

I detest the look. Consider the November POTM. It's one of the best created and executed photos yet on Photochimps. However, the logo in the corner is as strong a graphic element as the main subject. I don't like mustaches drawn on Mona Lisa, either. Of course a watermark wouldn't be as conspicuous. A watermark isn't theft-proof, either. Photoshop enables a craftsman to alter or eliminate anything in a digital image. If anyone wanted to steal John's POTM, eliminating the logo might take only seconds in PSE. A good watermark just takes longer to conceal. Compressing an image down to 40kb as John did may be more effective as a deterrent against serious theft than a watermark.

Posting an image on the internet is no more secure than reciting one's prize poetry from a soapbox in Hyde Park, and the audience is far larger and more avaricious. If squeezing every penny from every image is more important than presenting the best possible photographs, watermark away. It might even be an asset if you become famous. The name Mathew Brady on a photograph should enhance its value, even though it was probably taken by Timothy O'Sullivan, George Barnard, or any of the many others that worked for Brady.

winger 12-25-2009 04:00 AM

After looking through a number of sites from people's signatures (mostly on APUG), I don't think I'm going to do a watermark. Only a couple of sites had them (and not on every image).
I agree with Jim that there's no way for them to look good and I want the photos to look as good as they can.
I also would have to go back and edit all the images that are on my site already - that'll take some time.
So, I'm going to keep them all as small as I can while still looking good.


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