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Old 09-11-2007, 22:44   #1 (permalink)
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Watermarks

I'm in the process of building my website, which thankfully is nearing completion. Initially my site was all done in flash which meant that apart from screen dumps there was no way of downloading my photos, however it wasn't easily scalable and would of meant a lot of messing around to update and add new work. So i've ditched alot of the flash, keeping a small bit of flash amination and gone for a database driven photo gallery!

Now my question is i want to protect my work so people dont just 'Save Picture As' and copy a photo, so i'm going along the lines of watermarking all my photos, so whats the best way to do this in PS? I would also be interested in peoples opinions on how best to place a watermark, big and bold right through the middle, small and discrete in one of the corners.

Oh and one last question whats the best sizing for photos, is it best to keep to the same sizing guidelines as Pixalo or go for maximum quality regardless of size?

Cheers
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Old 09-11-2007, 23:13   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

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Originally Posted by stupot View Post

Oh and one last question whats the best sizing for photos, is it best to keep to the same sizing guidelines as Pixalo or go for maximum quality regardless of size?

Cheers
I think this depends on what you are expecting the browser to want to do. If the image is watermarked then I am not sure the browser would want to see them any bigger than they appear on the page. You could get an image to fill the page. I'm not sure why someone would download them if they are water marked. If you want someone to to inspect them with the idea of buying them then the higher res the better, but there are sites such as Stock photography and royalty free images and photos from Alamy that do this side of things alot better than you could do on your own site.(the high res inspection bit, by all means create a gallery.)

The pixalo standard I think is more than adequate for review and appreciation on a PC screen. Where the image size is very limited is when trying to edit the image its virtually impossible to edit an image that at pixel to pixel is smaller than your screen. But as your images are water marked I don't see anyone wanting to do that.

As you increase the size several weby things happen. These get worse as you site gets busier.
1) It takes up more storage on your web server - this may cost more.
2) It takes longer to download. Browser will not want to wait.
3) It will consume more of the bandwidth of your server. This can make the server slow or your site will only be available at the beginning of the month and will be "turned off" when you have used your quota.

There are probably two types of band width. One effects the speed of download, this is not really because bigger files consume more "speed" but because they take longer and there can be more overlap by different users downloading images. You will end up with more downloads at any one time.
The second is the total allowed traffic that you are allowed each month. This is usually limited and increasing it could cost more.
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Old 10-11-2007, 00:11   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

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so whats the best way to do this in PS?
best? dunno but I have a separate PSD which has the watermark in it. I simply drag the layer into the image I want watermarked then save it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:43   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

if your going to watermark plenty of pictures, another option is to do one but record it as an Action and that way you can get done a little faster.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:51   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

I use Sotelo's method of recording an action. I have a single action that sizes the image correctly, loads noise reduction and sharpening filters (with settings on so I can tweak or just not apply it), adds the watermark and saves the shot ready for the web.

I export from Lightroom with all the colour and tone correction done, then run them through this action and they're ready for display.

With text watermarks, one thing I've found works well is to use layer styles to create a shadow and maybe an embossed look then use the Difference blending mode which allows the background colour to come through, it's slightly less jarring.

cheers

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Old 10-11-2007, 12:19   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

You could disable right click but the only problem with that is that some naughty people will view source and nick the image that way.
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Old 10-11-2007, 14:04   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Also for watermarking, have a look at Rob Barron's tutorial on creating a watermark brush, possibly faster and more convenient than an action!
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Old 10-11-2007, 21:34   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Cheers guys, good advice there, well i've disabled right click and iam putting a smallish watermark in one of the corners. I guess if people want to use my images they'll get around whatever I do.

Still indecided on image size i'm going to visit lots of photography websites to gauge a bit of an average!
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:10   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

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Originally Posted by JMitchell View Post
Also for watermarking, have a look at Rob Barron's tutorial on creating a watermark brush, possibly faster and more convenient than an action!
the only problem here is that a brush watermark is just a stamp, with this type of watermark you still have to go and add styles if you wish, you have to back and add drop shadow if you also want that.
and an action watermark, well you can add styles, drop shadows, inner glow, basically you can do anything with it.
basically its all of matter of how easy you want it and a matter of taste.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:18   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Quote:
Originally Posted by j sotelo View Post
the only problem here is that a brush watermark is just a stamp, with this type of watermark you still have to go and add styles if you wish, you have to back and add drop shadow if you also want that.
and an action watermark, well you can add styles, drop shadows, inner glow, basically you can do anything with it.
basically its all of matter of how easy you want it and a matter of taste.

Could you explain how to do an action watermark? Drop shadows sounds like something I would like to try.

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Old 11-11-2007, 05:40   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

dogdots,

1st off, let's say a watermark is not going to stop someone stealing your image unless you completely ruin your image by putting the watermark through the middle. It does however make Mr Average Joe think twice before just ripping off your work to put on their website.

These instructions are for Photoshop, I don't know how applicable they are to anything else.

Start by having a play around to see how you'd like your watermark to look, here's what I do but it's fun to experiment.
  1. I have some basic Black Text on a layer
  2. I right click on the layer and choose Blending Options which opes the Layer Styles pallette
  3. In Layer Styles I add a "Bevel and Emboss" effect and a "Drop Shadow"
  4. In the top Option "Blending Options: Default" you can change the Blend Mode, I use Difference but I quite like Overlay and Soft Light too.
  5. Finally use the Opacity slider to make the layer semi-transparent if the watermark's too intrusive
Once you have a look that you're happy with, make sure you can recreate it and if you're a bit forgetful it might help to right down each step.

Go back to your original, unaltered image.

Go to the Actions Pallette (Alt+F9), and click the little folder icon at the bottom to create a new actions set, call it something meaningful.

Then click on the icon next to the folder to create a new action, call it something meaningful, assign a hot key if required and press Record.

Now follow the same method you used, try not to make any mistakes. You can go back and edit the action but it's way easier to get it right first time.

When you've finished, click the "Stop Playing / Recording" button at the bottom of the actions pallette.

Now you can run that same series of steps on any image at the click of a button.

One thing to look out for, If you want the font to always be the same size then each image you do this on has to have the same Document Resolution (in image size), a lot of people use 72 pixels/inch. It really doesn't matter what you use as long as it's always the same, otherwise the fonts will appear different sizes.

Hope that helps,

Cheers

Dan

Last edited by danpen; 11-11-2007 at 07:17.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:15   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Stuart

The quickest solution that I have found is to use a program called Watermark Factory, Watermark Factory - add text or image watermarks to your pictures and video in seconds... Protect your copyrights and add comments to digital photos and movies.. I can load up a complete directory with any number of JPEG's (it will not work with TIFF's) load up a saved watermark (which can contain both image and text which is easy to construct - I have an embossed image across the photo as well as text) set the image height, add some sharpening, reduce the JPEG quality and then click OK and it runs through all of the images.

It might be overkill for your requirements but I am usually uploading 200-500 images at a time and I know for fact that even with the heavily watermarked image, the the right click disabled that there are loads of the images that are downloaded from my site to use on Facebook etc. As I know that if this happens that the image has my website address on it I am not too unhappy with this.

If you Google you will find that there are a number of these sort of programs, many with free trials.

Cheers

Nick
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Old 12-11-2007, 00:24   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Thank you Dan for the step by step.....it helps me a lot. And I am forgetful so I will write down my steps when I get one I like.

Nick....if your site is right click disabled how do people get the photo into Facebook and other sites?
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Old 12-11-2007, 00:50   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Cheers Snap2, Dan and Nick for your detailed replys + all that replied
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:17   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

very well expalined Dan, tried giving you some rep. points but I guess I gave you some not to long ago cause it said i have to spread some around before giving you some again.
hope the others will give you some if the mini tutorial helped them.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:06   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Cheers Guys, glad you found the info useful.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:05   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Stuart, I can never remember how it is done but if you type "right click disable" into Google there are websites that tell you how to do it and it is pretty simple. In my experience those nice, decent people who are a pleasure to deal with do not know how to right click disable and those nasty buggers (and students!) are the ones that know all about it! I did find one off the shelf photographers website package which was built so that it ran in one of the flash programs and in this way I think you can beat the right click problem. Unfortunately as I put about 80,000 photos a year on my website it was not suitable for me as it ran too slowly but for those selling smaller numbers of high quality images I thought that it was a really good looking package. (Sorry I can not remember now the company that produces it).

Cheers Nick
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Old 12-11-2007, 12:41   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Watermarks

Whether or not using right-click disable or watermarks or Flash will work depends on how desperate you are to prevent your image being viewed. The image is generally downloaded to the browser from the web server whatever you choose, so 'preventing' your users from saving a copy usually only prevents the technically unaware.

Doing a screen capture will allow any image to be saved. So watermarks are probably the best way forward if that's a worry for low res images...

But I would say that most people who would ever pay for an image would not bother screen capturing, or bother with a low-res version of the image even without a watermark. Professional designers and picture editors will want high res versions and they will want to properly licence it so as not to damage their publication.

There's little point in watermarking an image to the point where it looks naff, because you'll be putting off the very people who would be willing to pay for the image otherwise.

I'm not saying that watermarks are all a bad idea per se... but they need to be applied judiciously to avoid taking away something from the original and losing a potential sale, IMHO.
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