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05-09-2017, 05:04 PM   #1
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Watermarking advice (and how to).

Later on this year I shall be attempting to run as a low-key professional photographer, not as a major earner but small jobs to basically fund the hobby. Thus far I have never watermarked my pictures, for various reasons including that I think some of my work is not good enough through to generally not being a fan of it and 'spoils' the picture.
But alas I have to accept that in order to promote myself I'll need to watermark some images in order to self promote and at least give the impression I am taking jobs and available for hire. This is especially important in social media pages, like my local Blue Mountains Australia Facebook page whereby I can easily submit landscape and wildlife images and appear available to work to fellow subscribers of that page.

So...

I want the ability to watermark some pictures, but not all. For example, I may for my own personal flickr account leave the watermark off (as that's reaching out to the global community and therefore not really advertising my services) but include watermarks for local social media submissions. I need to come up with a design (I'll prolly just digitise my handwritten signature) but then want possible two exports after using Lightroom, one with and one without watermark.

I'll also want the ability to quickly include the watermark, preview it, perhaps mess around with positioning, strength/opacity/tone in a manner which is effortless and painless.

I am a subscriber to LR and PS so of course I'm imagining both of these programs can do this (and I'd prefer to manage this process from LR if at all possible, I only fire up PS for heavy effect edits etc).

Can anyone suggest approaches to watermarking, I can always go looking on youtube, but first I just wanted to reach out here to fellow watermarking pentaxians and see what folk have to say.


Cheers,

Bruce

05-09-2017, 05:59 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Lightroom makes the process simple and mostly seamless. Just create as many watermarks as you like and then setup an export that includes a selected watermark as you like.

I have a tiny one that says (C) John Trax in the lower left for general use. It is so small and the opacity is low so it is just there to say it is my image. I have another one that is a little bigger and bolder that says (C) Zigzag Mountain Art which is more for advertising.

For your Flickr account you would just set up the export to not have a watermark included.
05-09-2017, 06:20 PM   #3
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Hi from another Bruce from downunder.

You can use export presets from LR to add a watermark. Create one with and one without. LR is somewhat limited though in what it can add. As far as I understand, it can add text and position that text on the left, centre or right side of the image with an offset so it stays withing the boundaries. Text can be any font, colour or opacity. When I do apply a water mark, which is not often, I usually just use "Photo by Bruce Clark" in a script font, colour it white or grey with reduced opacity so it is visible but not too obtrusive (I hope). see attached.

I don't know of a way LR can add an image as a watermark. If it can I can see that it would be a useful feature that otherwise would require layers in Photoshop or other such program.

What I dislike is some of the ornate flourishes and complicated signatures one sees from time to time. However that is a personal choice dictated by the perhaps conflicting requirements to become known and to protect ones work.
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05-09-2017, 06:24 PM   #4
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I recommend using a watermark for everything you post publicly on the web. It's not so much about advertising services but rather making it harder for people to steal your work. Yes, companies and other dishonest folk will take it and use it to profit and share none of it with you. They can crop it out, of course, or edit it out the hard way, but that takes work and if your watermark is reasonably well placed, cropping it out will ruin the photo enough that they won't want to use it.

My watermark is my avatar here. A friend of mine sketched the concept. I just made what she drew.

05-10-2017, 01:33 AM   #5
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The free Faststone has the ability to watermark, including the use of images. You can also set the opacity to get a subtle watermark that is clear but not too intrusive. The price is good!
05-10-2017, 01:54 PM   #6
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Since you have PS, make a custom brush for a watermark. If you apply the brush to it's own layer then you can place it where you want it, change the color if needed, and change the opacity of the layer to make it more or less visible .
06-03-2017, 04:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by microlight Quote
The free Faststone has the ability to watermark, including the use of images. You can also set the opacity to get a subtle watermark that is clear but not too intrusive. The price is good!
+1 I just create my watermark in gimp or whatever, and use FastStone to apply it. I just wish there was a keyboard shortcut for it.
06-25-2017, 11:50 PM   #8
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Hi everyone, and apologies for not initially getting back to you all, I really appreciate the suggestions and advice and it was a great first step to helping me sus out Watermarking.
What I found is to be truly successful with watermarking you need to use Photoshop, not Faststone and not even Lightroom, and here's why;

QuoteOriginally posted by Wingincamera Quote
Since you have PS, make a custom brush for a watermark. If you apply the brush to it's own layer then you can place it where you want it, change the color if needed, and change the opacity of the layer to make it more or less visible .
When trying Fastone, there didn't seem to be anyway to change the colour of the watermark, this was the same for LR as well. Some pictures may benefit from the text of the watermark being white, rather than black, or vice versa. Or even if doing a very funky and colourful shot the signature may also benefit in being a different colour than white, grey or black. Although Fastone and LR allow for opacity control, it was this lack of colour treatment that turned me to the path of Photoshop.

So here's what I did. I followed this tutorial, with one minor deviation at the Step 1. When making the New Document, indeed i chose 2500x2500 with a resolution of 300, but I wanted a transparent background, not white or black. So I noticed that some versions of photoshop include this option to select Transparent Background in the 'Background Contents' pulldown menu but not PS CC. So I googled a little more and came across this post and in particular followed the advice from this comment;

"Found a workaround. Made a new file with a white background, added a new layer (that I could make transparent), then deleted the white layer. Great work, Adobe."

So after doing this I had a 2500x2500 transparent background that allowed me to create the watermark. I then followed the rest of that tutorial linked above to great success. I had a tablet and stylus lying around that allowed me to actually write my signature which I think adds to the watermark feel. Here's a couple of examples, whatcha think?





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