Tag Archives: photograph

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

Washington Vacation 2012 In Monochrome

94C0330_Ferry and Full Moon-BW

The other night, I upgraded to the most  current version of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.  LOVE this conversion plug-in.  My aim was to take selected photos from my recent Washington vacation (April 2012) and convert them to black and white.

6267_Mt Rainier-BW

This software has a lot of very cool presets of which I made ample use, then tweaked here and there with my own changes.  One of the things that popped out immediately is how much black & white delineates texture, light, dark, shadow, and detail.  I saw things that I never noticed with the color images.  This is especially apparent with photos that have lots of clouds.

94C9612_Raincloud Tugboats Cargo Ship-BW

94C9932_Seattle Sky and Water with plane-BW

94C0549_Olympic Kind of Day-BW

94C0425_Morning Ferry Run PANO-BW

94C9594_Late Afternoon Clouds and Ferry Run-BW

6415-2_Deception Pass-BW

6329_Yellow Rows-BW

94C6563-2_Mountains And Valley-BW

94C6604_Wind Turbines-BW

94C3111_Mt Rainier-BW

6244_Mt Rainier-BW

94C0353_Ferry and Full Moon-BW

94C0988_Plying The Waters-BW

5030_Running Water-BW

I’m also pleased with my black and white conversions of people and pet photos.



6106_Gammy and Savanna REV2-BW

5969_Enjoying Himself-BW

6186_Niece and Great-Niece-BW

6000_Logan and Casey-BW

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Filed under Black & White, family, Photography, Travel, Washington State

Easter Egg Hunt

8158_Easter Eggs

I’d planned on posting this a little closer to Easter, except that I’m going to be on vacation over Easter (woo hoo!).

I’m a pretty secular soul, so in this post, it’s going to be all about the Easter egg hunt.  These photos were taken back in 2009, when my great niece was two.  I can’t remember the last time I took part in hiding Easter eggs filled with candy, and it was great fun to watch “Gammy” and “Cho” hide the eggs for one very excited little girl.  As most of you probably already know, the hunt is fun, but it’s really all about the candy in the eggs Winking smile

Hiding on the fence.

8149_Egg On Fence

Hiding on the bubble machine (please note how nicely color-coordinated the egg is to the bubble machine)

8154_On the Bubblemaker

Hiding underneath the Harley Skull.

8230_Hidden Egg

Sometimes, hiding a little too high (what on earth was the Easter Bunny thinking??)

8263_Too High

Aha!  Found that egg!

8231_Found One

8271_Easter Loot

Lookit all the loot!!


2116_Eggs In A Basket_Wordpress


Filed under Easter, Holidays, Photography


I finished reading one of the photo blogs I follow titled “In The Pink”.  My immediate thought was to create a short post titled “In The Pink…..I Don’t Think”.  Or maybe “In The Pink….Not Really”.  In the end, I came up with the original title you see here.

For the past two weeks, I have been down and out for the count with a nasty little bug that started with three days of scratchy throat, followed by what felt like a full-blown cold, followed by a return of the sore throat, altered hearing, and completely no sense of taste except for differentiation between sweet, sour, and salty.  If you blindfolded me and then fed me a piece of chicken, it would be the same as if you were feeding me a piece of alligator….or ostrich….or tofu….well, OK, I would figure that one out just from the mouth-feel.

Anyway, I’ve not been up to par, but I am incrementally improving, which is a good thing since I will be on a plane to Washington State next week, visiting Seattle, Mt. Rainier, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, and celebrating my and my brother-in-law’s birthdays in eastern Washington.

I like to try and post something once a week, and this was pretty much all I could come up with.  Dad took this shot of me when I was, oh, maybe two or three years old, zonked out on the swing set in our postage-stamp back yard in Montana.  I’ve been in a state of “zonked-outedness” now for two weeks and am ready to wake up…..but, well, not tonight;  I’ve taken my Nyquil (which still tastes bad even when I don’t have any taste buds).

Hope all of you out there are in a better frame of health.

Asleep On The Swing


Filed under Black & White, Humor, Photography

Yee Haw! Houston Rodeo 2012

4270_Fancy Saddle

Actually, it’s the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, but we just call it “the rodeo” or the “Houston Rodeo”.  I won a sort of departmental lottery drawing and scored a free ticket to my company’s suite at the rodeo.  It was during a weekday, so I took a half day off and left the office before noon.

The Houston Rodeo is a popular venue as it is one of the biggest and most well-known rodeos in the world.  I love it!  My favorite part is the riding and roping, but there is so much more to the rodeo than just that, as you will see from my photos in this post.

On this particular day that I attended, the place was PACKED!  Of course, it was during the Texas schools’ Spring Break  and it was also Family Day at the rodeo; discounts on tickets and various other items were offered and pretty much the entire city of Houston decided to take advantage.

The first thing I like to do is visit Reliant Arena, where the demonstrations (weaving, bee keeping, milking), shopping, and most of the food is selling.   Wall-to-wall people and kids.  Barely room to move.  Got a few shots, but not as many as I might have captured had I arrived first thing in the morning.  I love the birthing area, but naturally that was slammed.  People can watch cows, sheep, pigs, and goats give birth before their very eyes.  With commentary.  It’s quite educational, and great for city folks who don’t normally spend much time around real live farm animals.



3695_Feeding Time

3709_Little Lamb


I never noticed this before, so I assume this is a new thing – flower arrangement competitions.  I could never get a really nice shot – too many people around – so I had to opt for close ups.  Orchids were a huge theme in a number of these arrangements.

3754_Flower Arrangement

4216_Flower Arrangement

4234_Orchid Arrangement

4256_Yellow Orchids

And of course, I always stop by my favorite bronze statue (there are a number of bronze sculptures right next to the stadium).  This year, I was kicked out by a guy at the wine garden because this sculpture is located smack-dab in the midst of the seating, and the wine garden would not open to the public for another 3 hours or so.

3780_Bronze Statue

After an extended period of walking around with no place to sit, my poor feet began hurting.  I do this every year; I like to “rodeo up” and wear cowboy boots, but with the exception of people actually participating in some shape or form at the rodeo, everybody else (i.e. the general public) wears comfortable jogging or tennis shoes (aka “trainers”).  I need to remember to do that next year, rather than try to look “western”.

I wandered through the carnival.




4199_Euro Slide

4190_Euro Slide

I bought 10 tickets for $5 (it takes more than one ticket for a ride, folks) and took a nice little ride on the sky chairs  (that uses up 8 tickets) across the length of the carnival.   At one point, the ride stopped while I was at the top – I wonder if they did that just for me so I could get some great shots Winking smile

3878_Sky Chair View

3126_Headed Up

3902_Sky Chair View

3164_View From My Seat

3170_At the Top

3211_The Ride Down

3227_Looking Down

3237_Heading Down

Some of those rides make me nauseous just watching them. It takes an iron stomach to handle them and I just don’t  have an iron stomach.


4160_Upside Down



4213_Way Up There

After the sky chair ride, I decided to opt for some quiet time and made my way across the carnival to the horse arena, where a small horse show was taking place.  I don’t know what the judges look for exactly, but this understated  competition required riders (mainly women but there was one young man) to get their horses to walk-jog-lope-walk backward-maneuver around a sort of semi-obstacle course.  I saw some beautiful horses out there (and some pretty fancy riding outfits).

4125_Show Horses

4092_Fancy Mane

4083_Fancy Saddle


From there, I wound my way back to the stadium to wait for the moment they opened the and I could find my seat.  You see, at the time, I didn’t realize I had a ticket to my company’s suite; I just thought I had a ticket to a decent seat on the 2nd level.  Lemme tell ya – that suite is sweet!  Awesome view of the arena, food, drink, in-suite bathroom, a full-time attendant, plus little extras that make life good while watching the rodeo.

3249_View From Suite

3267_View From the Suite

Naturally, I was all about the photography.  For these arena shots, I used my Canon 16-35mm for the wide angle, and the rented Canon 100-400mm for the close ups (love that 100-400; it’s next on my “to buy” list).  Considering I was up in the 2nd level and not right down where the action occurred, I was pleased with the results.  I bumped the ISO up to between 1250 and 4000, so I could get some nice shutter speeds for the action.  Naturally, I had to use a little noise-reduction software on some of these shots (but not all of them).

Before the ridin’, ropin’, calf scramble, barrel racing, and live music performance take place, the Grand Procession parade wends its way around the stadium.

4277_Purty Cowgirl

4356_Grand Procession

4325_Rodeo Flags

No event is complete without a mascot.  I don’t know what his name is, but he’s the “H” symbol for Rodeo Houston.

4319_Rodeo Mascot

And what event is complete without cotton candy (aka candy floss).

4334_Cotton Candy

Then the lights go off and we all stand for the National Anthem.  This evening, it was sung beautifully by a local boys choir.  While the anthem is played, a lovely young lady (usually a blonde) races around the stadium riding bareback and holding the American flag from which spew fireworks near the end of the Anthem.

4387_American Flag

3285_Star Spangled Banner

3286_The Fireworks Begin

“….and the rockets’ red glare….”

3289_The Fireworks Begin

3304_Rodeo Fireworks

And now the action begins.

First:  Bareback Bronco Riding

4451_Bareback Bronco Riding

4457_Bronco Riding

4547_Bronco Busting

I would have loved to have been one of those photographers down there.

4588_Photographing The Bronco

After the bareback bronco busting came  the  calf roping.

4579_Calf Roping

I only got one shot of this because I got into a conversation with one of the other suite attendees and I didn’t want to be rude.  Sigh.  Unless you are a photographer, you can’t realize the pull and desire to have it be all about the photography; to try and capture every moment that you are able to with your camera.  Oh, this is not a “forest for the trees kind of thing” – the camera wasn’t up to my eye for every single move – I did remember to take the viewfinder away from my eye and just watch the action.  But, I did want to make as much use of the situation as possible, and that precluded conversation, for the most part.   That’s just the way I am.

After the calf roping came the bronco busting (with saddle ).  The events alternated ends of the arena, with the bareback bronco riding, the saddle bronco riding, and the bull riding taking place on my end, while the calf roping and steer wrestling took place at the other end of the field.

FYI, for the bronco busting, they specifically train these horses for their role.


4605_Buckin Bronco

4611_Hanging On

4613_Bucking Bronco

Steer wrestling.

4640_Steer Wrestling

4646_Steer Wrestling

4649_Steer Wrestling

Clowning around – this particular rodeo clown is a fixture out there and has been working the Houston Rodeo since God was a little boy.

4651_Clowning Around

Now comes the bull riding, which is when you see those rodeo clowns.  In addition to being entertaining and even acrobatic, the role of the rodeo clown is very important, and pretty dangerous.  Once the bull rider is finished – be it by falling off, or actually making it through the entire timed event – it’s the job of the clown to pull the bull’s attention away from that bothersome human who was riding on his back, and guide the bull back to its stall (although usually the bull seems to know where its stall is and it goes there on its own without any help).

These bulls are BIG and MAD.

4658_Over The Top

Send in the clowns!

4667_Send In The Clowns

4690_Bull Rider

4704_On Camera

Next comes the calf scramble, which everybody loves to watch.  Thirty high-school-aged young men and women are out there to try and catch one of 15 calves.  They then have to harness the calf and walk (drag) it back within the white square.  If they manage to do that, then they are given a calf to care for during the year and enter in competition the next time the Houston rodeo roles around.  It’s chaos out there, and very entertaining.

3357_Calf Scramble

4729_Calf Scramble Chaos

The final event before the scheduled music for the evening is the barrel racing.  This is an awesome competition to watch.  Women riding their horses ninety-to-nothing come racing out of the gate, circle around three barrels (trying not to knock them down) and then race back through the gate in a timed event.  The riders and horses act like a single unit, and must be able to round corners on an extremely small turning radius in order to make the best time.

4735_Barrel Racing

4759_Barrel Racing

4782_Rounding The Barrel

4793_Rounding The Barrel

4819_Action Shot

After the competitions, the music performance gears up.  Big names – and smaller venues – perform at the rodeo, including Reba McIntire and ZZ Top.  That evening, it was a sibling group called The Band Perry.  They don’t like people to photograph the entertainment (especially with big lenses like the one I used), so I put my camera away.  I left shortly after the performance began because I have a long drive home, it was late, and I had to go to work the next morning.

Got home at 11PM, got to bed at 11:15, fell immediately asleep and was rudely awakened at 4AM to start my work day (keeping my eyes open was a little tough that day).  Needless to say, I didn’t start working in earnest on these photos until Friday.

Once again, I had a fantastic time at the rodeo.  If any of you are ever in the area during the last week in February and the first three weeks in March, you ought to try to attend this event, for the sheer experience and – if you love using a camera – for the multitude of photo ops.

Yeeeee Haw!!!


(Note – different hair color, different year – it just made a good ending photo for this post) Winking smile


Filed under Events, Houston, Photography, rodeo

Irish Whiskey

On inclement days, my part of southeast Texas can get kind of blah. I don’t always feel like taking the risk of getting the camera / lens wet. On those days (when I don’t need to be logging into my office to get some work done), I try to think up ideas for a bit of photography. It helps that there are some holidays (Easter, St. Patrick’s Day) just around the corner. With some ideas in mind, I got some interesting shots (no pun intended) using whiskey and green beer. This image is one of several.

Did I drink the whiskey when I was finished with the photography? What do *you* think? 😉

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Filed under Holidays, Photography

Portrait of Mr. Tinkle

Portrait of Mr. Tinkle

This is one of my all-time favorite portrait photos that I have ever taken. The lens, lighting, model, and composition just came together for this. I used a Canon 5D Mark II and a 50mm f1.2 L lens (I gotta get me one of these!).

And of course, Mr. Tinkle doesn’t take a bad photo – he’s one of the most photogenic people out at the Texas Renaissance Festival, and also one of the nicest. He truely believes in the magic of the festival (which puts cynical me to shame). Mr. Tinkle is a fixture out there – everybody knows him.


Filed under Photography, Portraits