Every avid internet user might be aware of the fact that an image can be easily copied off the internet using a right-click mouse button.
Just open the image in your browser and right-click on it with the mouse and a pop-up will appear with options for saving the image. It’s that easy. Almost every internet user does it on a daily basis.
Now try to imagine yourself on the other side of the equation. What if somebody might be doing it to your site? You select or create unique images for your website painstakingly and they are copied or stolen by someone without even a semblance of thought about your efforts.
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But wait. There is a perfect solution to this problem as I will tell you about the techniques of watermarking your images to protect them from image thieves.
What is a watermark?
Watermark is basically a shadow image of logos or names embedded in an image to establish the identity of ownership. A watermark is visible on an image just like a stamp, generally in shades of white, grey or black.
The sole purpose of creating watermarks is to copyright images and establish the correct identity of the owner. Watermarks ensure that the image is not used or rather misused by anyone other than its owner.
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Many image vending sites like iStockuse watermarks to copyright their stock images and ensure that they are not edited or reproduced by anyone without paying for them. A fine example of an iStock watermark can be seen in the inset image.
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Watermarks however venture out into the controversial territory as some like them and some totally dislike them. Users often complain that watermarks tend to spoil the look of images and make them difficult to see properly, but image owners stress upon their need for protecting their images.
The trick lies in creating a perfect watermark which copyrights the image without affecting its visual appeal. Here’s how to How to Copyright Your Images with easy ways.
The various techniques you can use for creating watermarks
Add text by using any photo editing software
This is the easiest way of creating a makeshift watermark. It might not be too extravagant but will surely establish your image ownership. Just use any photo editing tool like Microsoft Paint and open the image. You can type your name over the image using the text tool of the image editor. It is as easy as it can get. You can place the text anywhere you like, you are the boss. Use any font you like, any colour you like or even draw a box around the text, who’s stopping you? It’s your watermark after all.
Online watermarking tools
There are many free online watermarking tools like PicMarkr. You can upload up to five images and watermark them with three options namely text, image or tiled. The text option would be somewhat similar to the first method mentioned for watermarking. The image watermarking method layers another image which you upload over the image you are watermarking.
However a major issue with using PickMrkr is that its image watermarking method does not allow you to change the opacity of the layered image, which results in the watermark not blending in with the image. The resulting watermark looks a separate entity. The tiled watermark option is even shabbier, where text or images are displayed all over the image in tiles. So, on the whole this is another quick option but with compromises.
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However, there is another better option for creating watermarks. Watermark.ws is a Canada based company which provides watermarking solutions. You can place an image or text watermark anywhere on the image using drag and drop conveniently. You can even change the colour, font and type size. What’s more? It can also watermark images in batches. I find it the best tool till date for complete watermarking solutions.
Watermarking using Photoshop
Photoshop is the most widely used photo editor in the industry. It is a must have tool for every designer and web developer. For the tech-savvy life isn’t easy without it. Watermarks can be conveniently created using Photoshop. Here’s a step by step guide
- Download and Install Photoshop, that is if you don’t have it on your system
- Open the file to watermark in Photoshop.
- Select the text tool from the toolbox and type in the text which you want to place as a watermark on top of your image.
- Adjust the opacity of the text from the layers section of Photoshop.
- Lower opacity will mean that the watermark will look almost invisible.
- Higher opacity will mean that the watermark will overwhelm the image.
- Keep the opacity from 40 to 60 for perfect results.
- Now resize the font and adjust the colour as desired.
- Now place the watermark anywhere on the image using the move tool.
- You can also do the same process by importing and placing your logo on the image and adjusting its opacity to achieve blending.
- Another process of creating a watermark is by creating a custom brush using your readymade logo or any image. The brush can then be used to paint the watermark anywhere on the image.
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In conclusion there are a number of options for watermarking images. Microsoft Paint offers only basic text based watermarking. Although Photoshop is a flexible tool for customised watermarking, it requires good user knowledge to operate. I personally would like to opt for Watermark.ws which provides easy, convenient and time-saving watermarking solutions.