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”.
- 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!