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Thread: To Watermark or Not To Watermark

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    To Watermark or Not To Watermark

    I recently put some images on FB and found that my client had grabbed them without asking me if it was ok. I felt ripped off - I guess that since I put my name on the bottom right of the image it will at least assist in getting my name out there. But there's something about not asking that really bugged me. It was as if, as soon as the images were available to them - I no longer had a part to play.

    So I got to thinking about it did a google search and have played with a "centred watermark" which will help to prevent clients or anybody else poaching what is not there's.

    Give me you thoughts on this central example in the next 3 images and if you have a better solution let me have it! Please.







    I dropped the opacity to 50% and flow to 40% and gave the layer a luminosity blend.

    Any help always appreciated
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    Cheers, Mal

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I don't mind watermarks or where they appear on a photo. I fully understand the sad necessity of them, if posting photos on the interweb. I can look past a watermark to evaluate a photo for critique. Mal, yours work well, they cover the main subject, would be hard to remove without leaving obvious edit marks, but do not block our view of the main reason for the photo.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    It is a great idea, although it is terrible when you cant show off your shots without the fear of someone ripping them off. I also agree with ricktas when he says that he can look past an obvious watermark to evaluate a photo. I feel it is a must now. I am thinking about the idea of doing a similar central larger watermark for all the photos i post on the net. Interesting topic and point! I think the trick is to make sure you put your watermark in a more difficult spot to re-touch if at all possible without changing the look and effect of the photograph.
    Also as a side question, What are your thoughts on the year in a watermark?? eg (markallan. 2011), dont know whether the year limits the artists work to a certain period of time?? what do you think??

    Mark
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    ......................And a lot of patience and room for improvement

    http://www.wix.com/markensbey/markallan#!


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    with facebook, only upload very low res files. People will tag them etc with a watermark or not...theere nothing you can do about that, what you can do though is make the image unprintable.
    Darren
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    with facebook, only upload very low res files. People will tag them etc with a watermark or not...theere nothing you can do about that, what you can do though is make the image unprintable.
    Good idea, i like your thinking
    Mark

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    Make it unprintable - you may be surprised what some people will print! I used to edit a high class motorcycle club newsletter and I'd make it available to members for download as a lo res pdf and mail them a classy printed version. I'd go to a monthly meeting to present each new edition and find some clowns there with the printed pdf on crap paper! They thought I was an "expletive" when I removed printing privileges. They saw it as a rag, I saw it as a work of art, which of course it was! - lol

    I spent last night viewing youtube vids on removing watermarks - something that CS5 states it can do - I don't think it's possible without leaving tell tale signs. Strange that Adobe would encourage this!?

    Yes Kiwi, I've learnt about facebook, now and upload as few images as I can. Now I just give them a taste and hope they follow the link to my webpage.

    Mark, I've been putting a date on my image tag, but I think I'm going to stop that. There's something about it that date statement which is not sitting right atm.

    Rick - love your new landscapes on your website. You're exhibiting new techniques with these. Is the site one you can upload to? It's very nice but hard to read - the text is so small.
    Last edited by mal from cessnock; 10-03-2011 at 11:03am.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    know that when you put a pic up on fb, you are giving them an unlimited right to reproduce that image. Nobody wants to play thru all that legalese, but better just to assume anything you put up there are 'free' for all to take.

    how about put a big watermark on fb which tells them where your website is that has the same pic with a less annoying mark?
    on your site you can clearly state the images are yours, no fb TOC stuff to mess you around with.

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    I can read the text, but it looks as though he needs to clean his camera!
    Togs are what my son wears to go swimming.

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    Kewl, reaction

    Johndom, uh?

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    The scratches! and the film grain effect!
    Nice shots, despite my smartarsery.
    In actually addressing your question, definetly watermark. It is in some ways a sign of proffessionalism as well as insurance. But as you pointed out some people will steal it anyway whatever you do.
    If you know Brad from cessnock say Gday.

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    Johndom - hey what did jesus heal you from? Hopefully a tough in cheek tag line

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    A lawnmower attacked my foot. But I have since glared it into submission.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    imho, a middle watermark is not a sign of professionalism. Name any pro-tog you admire. Go to their site. None of their photos have a watermark right in the middle.

    do the middle on places like fb where ppl steal, but don't overdo it on your personal site.

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    reaction - I take your point and only use a watermark on fb - not on my website

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    imho, a middle watermark is not a sign of professionalism. Name any pro-tog you admire. Go to their site. None of their photos have a watermark right in the middle.

    do the middle on places like fb where ppl steal, but don't overdo it on your personal site.
    I like that idea. I was personally wandering about this because although people like ricktas can see past it I hate them! I want my image on line so it can be seen. I think after reading this thread I will watermark any photo not posted on my website and link it. I also like the idea of the watermark being the website address, something I will start doing.

    Good thread!

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    Unfortunately anyone with a bit of Photoshop editing knowledge can make a good job of removing your watermarks; I suppose it still deters every day clients infringing your copyright.
    Alpacamike

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    Alpacamike, imho not even your average user or advanced user can remove a watermark well. Even CS5 with it's advertised "fill" tool makes a lousy job of it! Have you tried using it?

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    I'm assuming it would also make a civil case pretty straight forward when you show how they took your photo and removed your watermark?

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    Are we talking protecting what's personally yours, or protecting your business profits?

    As a printing company, we sometimes get people sending us low-resolution images that have clearly been taken from some website - and yes, sometimes they have tried to remove the watermark (and the CS5 healing tools are amazingly good at removing watermarks in one click!).

    Of course, we politely tell them the "quality isn't good enough" instead of saying. "we think you stole that image!" and we won't print it.

    But the people doing that are the people that can't afford (or simply won't pay) for your image in the first place. So if they get a low res image printed, you're not losing any money, they get an inferior print, it won't have your name on it anyway, and you could't take them to court because it wouldn't be worth the money. So the distracting watermark doesn't actually protect your profits anyway.

    IMO, it just depends on whether you're trying to protect your business, or your ego. BOTH are valid things to protect, especially when you work hard getting your name out there.

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    Good to hear from a Printer on this thread. Glad to hear you pick it up and try to discourage the print from going ahead.

    I agree with you when you say the photographer wouldn't have got the job anyway and that the lo res image is worth squat and since it doesn't bear the maker's name it doesn't really matter.

    For me, I began watermarking as an ego based thing (so proud of my work) but there have been occassions over the last couple of years where subjects/potential clients have ripped them from my website and that really annoys me. In some cases I would have given them to them if they had the decency to ask. So a watermark in this case may have helped save the image from poaching.

    I think I have a long way to go before I am happy with any watermark I create and at the end of the day (which I'm not looking forward to) may not use them at all.

    Thank you cheapcanvasprints for your input on this.

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