Tag Archives: watermark

A More Creative Way To Add A Watermark To Your Photos

1530_Common Sunflower_200mm-teleconverter_CROP

I was going to post my thoughts on my new Canon 1.4x Mk III teleconverter (will do that later) but decided instead to publish this watermark post because I am so tickled with the new thing I have learned that some of you might want to try out for yourselves.

I subscribe to the Daily Peta Pixel.  It’s an online magazine dedicated to photography. One of the recent editions ran a story with a link to a  watermarking tutorial published by farbspiel photography.  After looking at this tutorial and its screenprints, I thought wow, I can do this too!

Farbspiel photography is correct in stating a watermark can deter some viewers from looking further.  I myself don’t necessarily care if those viewers get disgusted when they see a watermark on my photos because they apparently don’t have issues with photo theft and copyright infringement.  For me, there is always room for improvement, and this watermarking method can be used for places where your uploaded photo cannot be linked to your photo website when a viewer clicks on said photo.

Note #1: farbspiel photography’s tutorial uses Photoshop, as do I.  I am going to assume – however erroneously – that most other decent photo editing applications have similar commands/methods.

It took me a freaking hour to figure everything out based upon the tutorial.  I’m not really familiar with layers and masks, and there were parts of the instructions that – even with farbspiel photography’s screenprints – were not clear to me .  I created this post with additional bits and pieces here and there to help clarify some of those issues.  I’m a spell-it-out-for-me kind of gal, and I know many of you reading this may be the same (guy or gal).

OK, here we go.

  • In Photoshop:  File-New

I copied my settings after the settings in farbspiel photography’s tutorial:


  • Using the Text tool, I created my watermark, formatting the font type, font size and text color.   If you are in Photoshop, look to the right of your screen and you will now see your text listed as a layer.

Originally, I deviated from the tutorial in that I simply created a single layer for the entire copyright watermark, rather than creating a separate layer for each segment.


Then, I realized the value of creating separate layers, because I can return to my original watermark file and change it up, simply by deleting or re-doing a specific layer (like the copyright year).  Duh.


Now that you have created the look you want for your watermark:

  • Click on Layer – New Fill Layer – Solid
  • Give this layer the same name as what you have given your new watermark (I called mine “Signature”).


  • Leave everything else as-is, and click on OK
  • You will be shown the Color Picker
  • Choose black


  • Click OK
  • Hold down the Ctrl (on a PC) key and click on the first (or last) layer you have created.  You need to click on that little white layer icon thumbnail beside your layer name in order to see that particular layer outlined in blinking white dashed lines.
  • Release your hold on the Ctrl key, and then right-click on the next layer  icon and choose Add Transparency Mask .  You will now see that next layer highlighted in blinking white dashed lines.
  • Continue to do the right click thing on your other text layers until you see all of your text watermark outlined in blinking white dashed lines.


  • Click on the white box next to the little locking icon in your Fill Layer
  • Right click and choose Delete Layer Mask
  • The Fill Layer will remain, but the white box will be gone.
  • Now, click on that icon (the highlighted yellow one) at the bottom of the Layers screen, which is the Add New Layer Mask icon


  • Once you have clicked on that, you will see your signature watermark  with a black background in the thumbnail of the Fill Layer.
  • While your Fill Layer is still selected, choose Color Dodge from the drop-down box.
  • Double-click to the right of your Fill Layer name and you will see the Blending Options box.  You can play around with the options, but for this post, which follows farbspiel photography’s tutorial, choose Drop Shadow and Bevel and Emboss.


  • Click OK
  • Save your new watermark as a .psd and keep this file open
  • Open up the photo you wish to watermark
  • Go back to your watermark file, click on the Fill Layer (the one that has the thumbnail of your watermark signature), then right click and select Duplicate Layer.
  • On the pop-up screen, make sure you have your destination photo chosen:


  • Click OK
  • Go to your destination photo and you will see your watermark signature as a new layer.  You will also see the watermark on your photo.


Here’s where I veered off of the remainder of farbspiel photography’s tutorial because I already liked the look of my watermark and am pretty good at “eyeballing it”.

  • Edit-Transform-Distort
  • Your watermark is now boxed in


Each of those little square “markers” (or whatever they are called) can be used to move/distort your watermark.  I just chose to arrange the corner markers as you see in the screenprints below to get to the finished product.



Once you are finished with your watermark arrangement, hit Enter

You may now choose to keep your original photo and your watermark layers separate, or merge the layers by selecting Layer-Merge Layers

As you can see from the photos, I decided I didn’t like the look of the watermark in this particular image.  I returned to the original signature.psd file and removed that www.rebeccalatsonphotography.me layer.  I saved the file as a new psd file (so now I have two nifty watermarks).

Voila!  You now know how to create a workable watermark that you can move/distort and blend in with your photo which, at the same time, indicates the copyright and ownership of the photo without too much of a distraction to the viewer.

Thanks farbspiel photography and Daily Peta Pixel!

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Filed under Lessons, Photography, Watermark

Inserting A Watermark Into Your SmugMug Galleries

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In my previous post, I showed you how to create a simple watermark.  In this post, I will show you how to insert it into your SmugMug photo galleries.

OK, you’ve created your watermark and saved it as a .png file using CS5’s Save for Web & Devices.  Now, log into your SmugMug account.

You must first upload your watermark .png file to that unlisted default gallery SmugMug automatically sets up for you when you first create an account.  It’s the gallery titled “My SmugMug Site Files (Do Not Delete)” and by default, only you can see this gallery (unless you wish others to see it).

Click Upload-To This Gallery

Your watermark file is now uploaded.  But you cannot use that particular image until you have designated it as a watermark.

So go to the last page of this gallery (because that is where your newly-uploaded watermark image will show up) and click on the thumbnail to bring it up.   From the menu above the image, click  Tools and from “This Photo”, select More and select Make Into Watermark.

Make Into Watermark

You will be taken to a screen wherein you may designate the position, opacity, and even rename it if you wish.  You also get to see a preview of how your watermark masterpiece will look on a photo.  Once you have finished with the tweaking, click Submit and no matter which of the 2 methods you use to insert a watermark, it will appear as you have designated here in this screen.


Oh, and if you didn’t choose your opacity (how transparent you wish your watermark to be) in CS5  or image editor du jour, then you may do so in this screen (SmugMug calls it “Fade”).  Compare the watermark in the image below with the watermark in the image above.

Playing With Fade

Now you are finished and can exit this gallery and choose another  gallery.

There are two ways in which you may insert a watermark onto your gallery photos:

Method #1

Within your gallery, click Tools and then scroll down to highlight Gallery Settings.


Scroll down to the Security & Privacy panel

In addition to working with the watermark, you can also set other security features highlighted below.

Security and Privacy

Save your new settings and you will be returned to your gallery.  Give it a minute or two, and then for each photo, you should see your watermark.  This method is actually faster than the method below, in terms of how quickly SmugMug applies the watermark to your images.  Probably because the method below allows you to be more selective in terms of which photos you wish to be watermarked, rather than a “blanket application” of the watermark to all of your photos, which is what Method #1 does.

To remove your watermarks, simply click “No” and that little watermark box will disappear as will your watermark on all of your photos in the gallery.

Method #2

Within your gallery, click Tools, scroll down to “Many Photos” ,select More, then select Watermarking


You will be taken to a screen where you see every single photo you have uploaded to that particular gallery.


You may now choose which watermark you wish to use, and select all or just a few photos for watermarking.  Click Watermark and then wait.  You will see a little screen telling you that SmugMug is applying watermarks and to just be patient for a few minutes.

To remove your watermarks, follow the same steps, but select “Remove” and then click Watermark.

There you have it!  Simple, right?


Filed under Lessons, Photography, SmugMug, Watermark

Creating Your Own Watermark To Use In Your SmugMug Galleries

There are plenty of posts out there discussing creating one’s own watermark.  I’m just adding to the choices.  And, not only will I show you how to create an easy watermark for your gallery photos, but (in the next post) I will show you (step-by-step)  how to apply it to photos in a SmugMug gallery (because that is where I keep all of my photos, so that’s what I know how to do).

I use Adobe Photoshop CS5, but (I am assuming), it will apply to older versions of Photoshop, and probably some versions of Photoshop Elements, too.  If you don’t use any of the Photoshop applications, I’m certain you can create your own watermarks in whatever editor package you use.

In CS5:  File-New

A little pop-up window appears allowing you to set up your page upon which you will type up your watermark.  I gave my watermark a name because that’s what CS5 will want to use in saving the image, and it helps me figure out, later on, which watermark I might want to use for a given situation.


The only changes I make are to the Width, Height, Resolution, and  Color Mode; everything else remains in default.  You may want to experiment a little with the size, but for my purposes,  I used the numbers you see in the Width and Height above for a horizontal watermark.  If you choose to create a vertical watermark (perhaps for portraits), you simply switch the Width and Height numbers.

Once you’ve made your choices, click OK

This is what you see now.  The checkered background means it is transparent and won’t be seen.  It’s an invisible “canvas” upon which you will “paint” your watermark.


For my watermark, I like to use the copyright symbol in front of my name, so I hop over to Microsoft Word for a moment and open up a blank page.

I click on the Insert tab

I then move my curser way over to the far right of the Word 2010 Ribbon to click on the Symbol image.

I select the copyright mark and click on Insert


It’s on my blank Word page now, so I simply highlight the symbol and copy (Ctrl-C on a PC) for later use over in CS5.

Now, back to CS5.  I select the Text Tool (that little “T” symbol)  from the toolbox on the far left of the screen.

I click on that “blank” canvas, do a Ctrl-V to paste the copyright symbol, then proceed to type whatever I want to see as my watermark.


You will need to play around with the text type and size.  And there is also the little matter of text color and opacity.  I like using a medium-dark shade of gray.  So, I click on that little colored box in the menu bar that shows up specifically for the Text Tool.

I get a pop-up box that allows me to choose a color (or create my own custom color).


Once I am happy with the color, I click OK

I can also play with opacity (transparency) of the text.  Because SmugMug’s watermarking tools allow me to change the opacity onsite, I generally leave the opacity settings in CS5 alone.  However, if you want to set your level of transparency here, rather than SmugMug, then click on the Layers icon in the tool bar over on the right side of the screen.  Double-click on the Opacity box and you can then change the percentage of opacity.


Once I am satisfied with the look of my watermark, I do a little cropping.  I don’t crop too closely to my watermark text, though, because it’s wise to leave some space above, below, and to the sides of the text; you won’t see the checkered background in your watermarked photos, but that little bit of extra “canvas” makes a sort of transparent buffer zone or border around the actual text.  Hard to explain, but you will see what I mean if/when you read my next post.


To save your watermark: File-Save for Web & Devices

I don’t change any of the default settings; I just click Save


My watermark is saved as a PNG file format and is ready to upload to my SmugMug site.

Next post:  How to insert your watermark into your SmugMug galleries.

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Filed under Copyright, Lessons, Photography, SmugMug, Watermark

Just Call Me Paranoid…Or Prudent


I’ve been a pretty happy little camper to have figured out (with the help of others like fellow blogger Dmitrii Lezine ) how to post photos within blogs on WordPress and then link said photos to my website and SmugMug gallery.

Then – I recently read a blog post by SmugMug, focusing on one of their success stories HoofClix (and what a success story).  This photographer mentioned that thieves can come in and use screen capture software to get a pretty decent shot of a photographer’s image if they have their settings so that viewers can view anything from large to 2X on their SmugMug galleries.  This photographer also mentioned that he always uses watermarks, and has a number of different watermark styles for a given situation.

After linking my blog photos to my protected SmugMug galleries, I had not really given thought to those cretins out there who might use screen capture software to steal a photo that they could not download (I have my gallery photos protected so that nobody can right-click then download the photo).  Pretty naïve of me.

I like showing off my photos.  I am a good photographer and am proud of my work.  I do NOT like having my photos stolen by somebody in  location-du-jour for their own purposes.  I find that reprehensible.  These people who do that apparently do not have any initiative or  creativity to go out and take their own photos.  Nor do they have any ethical wherewithal to do the right thing legally and morally and purchase or license a photo.  These thieves have absolutely no problem calling someone else’s photo their own work.

The reality is that there are probably copies of my photos floating around the world already.  Henceforth, there are things I can do to at least make it more difficult for someone to steal my work.  These things you photographers can apply to your work too, if you aren’t already doing so.

You will now notice that when you click on one of my photos in a post, it will still take you to my website (which is linked to my SmugMug gallery), but the photo views are much smaller and I have put my watermark back on them.

There will be those of you out there who are a bit put out or put off by the watermark inclusion.  I don’t care.  I like showing off my photos but I also want to try and sell them, and this helps make it a little more difficult for people to easily (key word, here) steal for their own purposes.

Think about it: if you have a lovely photo that you have placed in your blog post or an online gallery, then that photo is fair game and ripe for the picking.

If you have a SmugMug account with galleries, it’s easy to go into gallery settings and right-protect your photos, re-size them from their original size to a smaller size (seen by anybody visiting your gallery),  and add a watermark (I created my original plain-vanilla watermark with the help of Adobe Photoshop CS5 – post forthcoming).

So now, I am having fun creating more watermarks for various situations, if for no other reason than it gives me a little more peace of mind.

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Filed under Photography, SmugMug