There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. ~Ansel Adams
A couple of weeks ago, a friend wrote to me asking how I watermark my photographs for the web. Since I hadn’t blogged about photography in over a year, I decided to dedicate my posts in February to the subject.
In case you missed the last two posts, click here for The Joy of Photography: How to Find Your Inner Lens and 5 Quick Steps to Managing Your Digital Photos.
Why watermark your photographs for the web? To claim your work as your own.
Some photographers like to have their text in a prominent position, with bold text. Others want to be more discreet with their watermark. But the principle stays the same: the purpose of a watermark is to claim the photograph you have taken and stamp it with your signature. That way, when others like your photo and want to link to it, or, as often happens, want to use it as their own, your watermark already links your work back to you.
Another important factor to consider as you watermark a photo is what size do you want your photograph to be? A smaller photo (in KB or MB) by compression helps your website to upload more quickly, while large photographs (more than 1.0 MB) bog down your website or page. The smaller the image file, the blurrier the image when it is enlarged. But usually, an image can be quite small on a web page and still retain its original look.
There are many resources online that show how to automatically watermark photos for the web, for instance here. But, my technique varies a bit from the standard method of watermarking photographs. I place my watermarks by hand, so that they blend into the image.
Following, in three steps, how I watermark photos for use on the web:
1) I use Photoshop, but any photo editing software will work in a similar way. First, open the photograph you want to watermark.
2) Using the Text tool, select the font, size, and color of the text you wish to use for your watermark. Then, position the cursor in the spot you would like to have your words.
3) Save the photo. Usually, you’ll save in a .jpg file, and I choose the smallest file size possible (high compression).
Question for you: Do you watermark your photographs when you put them on the web? What is your method?