Opinions on watermarking

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aerok, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. aerok macrumors 65816

    aerok

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to hear your opinions on watermarking.

    - Do you watermark all your pictures?
    - Why do you watermark or why don't you?

    I personally used to watermark when I first started but always bothered me to do so so completely stopped now. I do however ask people to credit me when using my photos. I haven't been victim of theft yet.

    Here is a very bad example lol

    [​IMG]
     
  2. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #2
    Watermarking seems fairly pointless to me.

    They can be cropped out and easily removed.

    Usually where ever my photos are there are some call to actions saying who I am.

    Also, I have nothing really to gain from having a watermark on my shots and I feel that they just end up getting in the way of my shot!
     
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #3
    Think of it as on-line security. Has that really stopped identity theft? If someone wants your photo they are going to take it. Pintrest makes this real easy. Add a Copyright line in the photo info of the file - it's part of the EXIF data. Then if you find someone is making money off your work you have legal ammo.

    And pretty much what acearchie said...

    Dale
     
  4. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #4
    Watermarks are fine. It's like having a small lock on a door. Sure, someone can bust it open with a shoe, but it keeps a good percentage of convenience theft at bay.
     
  5. aerok thread starter macrumors 65816

    aerok

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #5
    But do you watermark? If you do, does it go on a corner or in the middle of the photograph?

    It can easily be cropped with in the middle and sometimes just removed easily with content aware if it is not on a busy background and is small.
     
  6. truettray macrumors 6502

    truettray

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    My rule of thumb is to only watermark the photos that I'm putting on Facebook... not because I'm afraid of theft, but because I would hate for a client to accidentally print a photo that has been so horribly compressed. Even then I *try* and keep it classy. (But I'm no graphic design major..)


    [​IMG]
    Smiles
    by drtruett, on Flickr
     
  7. aerok thread starter macrumors 65816

    aerok

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #7
    ooooh never thought of that. That actually makes a lot of sense!
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    I don't but then I consider myself as a hobbyist, i.e., I do this for the love of photography and I don't market/sell my images.
     
  9. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    Same with me. Discreet watermarking really is a marketing tool so I don't bother.

    ~ Peter
     
  10. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #10
    I also don't watermark. As others have said, it's easily removed and distracts from the image.
     
  11. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #11
    I don't watermark my photos because I don't really care to, but at times I actually wish that some of the photos I've seen were watermarked so that I could find the source and explore more.

    For example, I was recently looking up information on northern lights and Baffin island. Somewhere in the depth of the internet I found this:

    [​IMG]

    Mind. Blown.

    There are lots of shots that look kind of like it, but made in the Rockies. That peak in the middle looks quite unique though, after you've already seen similar shots of the Rockies...
    Except it was just hanging on some random page with no info on the author or specifics of the location. It was only thanks to http://tineye.com that I managed to track down the photographer and find out lots of great info that with a bit of luck and a lot of effort, I might eventually put to some practical use.

    People generally put a link back or at least a verbal reference when sharing third party images, but sometimes it's not even malicious intentions that lead to photos going uncredited. Sometimes the re-poster just doesn't care, and that's a bummer. For my part, I guess I just doubt anyone will be trying particularly hard for my shots as I do for some of the examples I've had to "tineye" in the past.
     
  12. aerok thread starter macrumors 65816

    aerok

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #12
    Excellent point!

    I also use Google Image search, I find it better.
     
  13. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #13
    That's the main reason I watermark my images. Even so I try to keep it low key. If somebody really wants to get in touch the information is there but it isn't in your face.

    [​IMG]

    Back when I was creating my website from scratch I had it setup so that you could view an image without a watermark but if saved the image it would be watermarked. It was a fun experiment in web design. If somebody really wants an image they will often find a way to get it.
     
  14. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    #14
    Amateur here. I don't watermark. If you want to steal my photo, you'll remove it. If you really want to find me, you'll find me.
     
  15. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #15
    That's a really cool idea. I didn't know that was possible.
     
  16. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #16
    It was really a simple concept. I created two images - one with and one without the watermark. I placed them in two DIVs that were positioned one on top of the other. The non-watermarked image went on the bottom and the water mark on top. Then I set the opacity of the watermarked image to zero. If somebody copied or saved the image they would get the watermarked version and the opacity is ignored.

    Of course it wouldn't be too difficult to look at the source to figure out the URL to the non-watermarked image. For this I only had the watermarked image in the source. I then computed the URL of the non-watermarked image and applied it.

    Even so, it is still possible to pull the non-watermarked image or to take a screen shot. My goal was just to circumvent casual linking and copying. It was also an interesting exercise in web design. The back end did all sorts of cool things but after three years I still wasn't finished with it. That is when I moved to Zenfolio. ;)
     
  17. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #17
    The problem is they'll still print the horribly compressed photo. And show it to all their friends with your watermark making sure you get the blame.
     
  18. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #18
    I don't watermark my photos for the same reason I use to leave the keys in my old car... I'd be pleased if someone stole it :D
     
  19. Ish macrumors 68010

    Ish

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    I didn't watermark until I found one of my favourite images on someone's website gaining compliments but with no mention that it wasn't theirs. I don't sell my images but it was annoying. I do it discretely, in the corner, not to prevent anyone using the photo or looking at it, but if it's removed it does show intent to steal. Copyright info is also in the exif. Also when posting, some websites strip out the exif data.
     
  20. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Delta Quadrant
    #20
    I agree with Jeff, an inconspicuous watermark can serve to provide information about the photographer. But keep it small and classy so as not to take away from the impact of the image.

    I don't think watermarks help in terms of theft for the reasons everyone else has already stated.
     
  21. truettray macrumors 6502

    truettray

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    If you ask me, that situation sucks equally... with or without the watermark.

    The reason I started was because it actually happened once! I did the wedding photos for an acquaintance, and was in their home later and noticed my pictures hung up on their wall, printed at 11x14 looking just terrible. I had provided them with a DVD of all the photos for them to print themselves, but they said it was just easier to pull from Facebook. Enter watermark.
     
  22. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #22
    When you found this as a random image, did you try downloading it and checking the file info with Get Info? That will often display the image source unless it has been stripped by software. Your image post has this in the Info, but I don't know where you got it from. You,umm, didn't credit it...:eek:

    http://www.arturstanisz.com/Galeries/Mountains/i-gvZkKFD/0/L/Plasmatic-Explosion-M.jpg

    Dale
     
  23. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Delta Quadrant
    #23
    Thanks for the tineye link. That will come in handy.

    The picture you posted looks a lot like Erez Marom's shots of the Northern Lights in Iceland.

    http://www.dpreview.com/files/p/articles/9447539021/l_Myvatn_Aurora_2-1-2013_30.jpeg

    http://www.erezmarom.com/

    Mind Blown is right. Stunning photography.
     
  24. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #24
    Didn't occur to me to check the file's EXIF data. Perhaps if tineye gave no results, I would eventually think of that option. I only think of exif when I want to know the technical specs of the shot, that it can contain copyright info is just not ingrained in me for some reason.

    As for crediting, the original image is a hyperlink to the author's website where this photo is displayed. I suppose that was too subtle ;) Just goes to show that out of dozens of ways of connecting an image to a photographer, not all are obvious for all viewers :)
     
  25. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #25

    As a general rule of thumb, I watermark ... usually small & in a corner.

    On one of the occassions where I forgot to do so and put the images up on Facebook, the local TV station was broadcasting them the next day.

    They were "gracious" enough to pull them down after they were notified that it was a copyright infringement, but wouldn't even offer $100 for their use without permission - - - it was the old "...Duh, these got emailed to us and we ASSSUMED it was okay..." routine.

    Suffice to say that since then, I make it a point to make sure that anything potentially noteworthy put on FB is quite clearly watermarked...

    ...and in a few cases, I've even made it a point to add a second watermark that's much more 'hidden' for images that appear to be too tempting to not steal and crop off the tasteful one along the bottom...which in retrospect is what I should have done from this image back in 2002, as it was first lifted by a Dutch newspaper and then by many others


    -hh
     

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