PetaPixel

Make Your Watermark Unobtrusive by Blending It Into Your Photos

Watermarks are a popular way of “signing” photographs and deterring theft, but having a giant logo overlaid on your images can ruin the viewing experience. Photographer Klaus Herrmann has one solution: integrated watermarks. He writes,

[Watermarking] seems to be a viable way of protecting your images from online theft, but a watermark can ruin a photo if placed carelessly. Indeed, with a semi-transparent giant piece of text (and maybe Comic Sans as a font) written straight across the image, many people won’t bother looking at the image for more than a second. I have been applying watermarks (or, to be more precise, signatures) to my images for some time now, but I use a different philosophy by making it an integral part of each image, almost as if it was there in the original scene.

He has written up a tutorial on how you can make your watermark look like part of your photo. It’s a pretty time-intensive process, but could be useful for sharing fine-art photography online.

Creative Watermarking – How to Integrate Your Signature into Your Photos [Farbspiel Photography]


Image credit: Photograph by Klaus Herrmann


 
  • perceptionalreality

    The key here is “fine art”. This is a wonderful concept which I’ve done before (though not quite as well as Klaus here), but it really doesn’t work well for those whose work is done in bulk.

  • http://www.tyleringram.com TylerIngram

    I have actually seen this more and more. Photographers incorporating their logo/name as a watermark that is carefully placed within the scene.
    Granted, the tutorial may be a bit long for those who bang out photos quickly, but if you are uploading the occasional masterpiece, why not spend an extra minute or two and incorporate a watermark the blends nicely with the scene!

    I now have to figure out what I want as a watermark and try my hand at this!

  • jfrzn

    this far more irritating than a simple logo in the corner..takes a lot away from the photo when you go and start editing the actual content in it

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Duncan/1111692326 Joey Duncan

    I think this is a good example. But I can’t stand it when people just plop their logo in a random place without blending it all. Know the difference haha.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Duncan/1111692326 Joey Duncan

    I think this is a good example. But I can’t stand it when people just plop their logo in a random place without blending it all. Know the difference haha.

  • Ray Escamilla

    These types of watermarks are useless. If you’re afraid of “real” theft (someone taking credit for your work), a digital sig’ in the metadata of the image will suffice. If it’s Internet sharing you’re afraid of, first of all you’re naive to think you can control the sharing of anything posted online, then you have to splash your info very obviously in the image to guarantee the original artist is recognized. BTW, 5 minutes in PS and this watermark disappears.

  • Ray Escamilla

    These types of watermarks are useless. If you’re afraid of “real” theft (someone taking credit for your work), a digital sig’ in the metadata of the image will suffice. If it’s Internet sharing you’re afraid of, first of all you’re naive to think you can control the sharing of anything posted online, then you have to splash your info very obviously in the image to guarantee the original artist is recognized. BTW, 5 minutes in PS and this watermark disappears.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ekeeme Everardo Keeme

    I have started to do that more and more with my photos, I think it adds a nice touch sometimes http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=213738881979534&set=a.147954818557941.20288.136510639702359&type=3&theater

  • http://www.facebook.com/ekeeme Everardo Keeme

    I have started to do that more and more with my photos, I think it adds a nice touch sometimes http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=213738881979534&set=a.147954818557941.20288.136510639702359&type=3&theater

  • http://www.facebook.com/rossanopl Rossano Paul Stewart

    I find this information very informative and precise. I too will learn to make use of this valuable tool of information….Thanks!

  • suzy halpin

    This doesn’t stop people from lifting the photo. I know that real wizards can remove any water mark. These people I do not worry about so much. Obviously, if they lift and use one of my photos, they know what they are doing and they understand that I watermark my photos with a message that says ‘I will prosecute you!’. It is the inept user that I watermark for more than anything else. If they want to send my photo around the internet, no problem…..as long as they send it with my watermark. And they usually do!

  • Vincent

    Why would anyone want to steal this monstrosity?! Everything that’s wrong with photography.

  • http://twitter.com/PaulaRRobinson1 Paula R. Robinson

    why not spend an extra minute or two and incorporate a watermark the blends nicely with the scene! http://FoxGetPositionWork.blogspot.com

  • perceptionalreality

    Is anyone moderating the spam in these comments these days?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jared.monkman.5 Jared Monkman

    doesn’t seem like it. This site has more spam than most sites I visit

  • Mansgame

    I love my pictures enough to destroy them with a logo. If you incorporate it to the point that it’s not noticeable, it can be stolen without them even caring to take it off. At least with an ugly one, it will take a little more effort to crop it out or something.

  • Mansgame

    I love my pictures enough to destroy them with a logo. If you incorporate it to the point that it’s not noticeable, it can be stolen without them even caring to take it off. At least with an ugly one, it will take a little more effort to crop it out or something.

  • Dude

    Ah, the ever present photo purist arises from the depths to blast a photo that seems to uses HDR techniques. Please, make all the same tired arguments for us again! We can’t wait!

  • The Judge

    The sarcasm comes in magnificently. Well played. 9/10

  • Vincent

    You know what they say about sarcasm, right? Good on ya.

  • Colin

    I’m in the camp that a watermark should never become an element in the actual photo. Splatter your name on it if you want, but incorporating it into a part of the photo just seems tacky.

  • ArieLex

    BTW, 5 seconds in exiftool, and the digital signature disappears

  • AVL

    Hilarious! I recently had someone tell me, “Of course I understand exposure. I shoot HDR.” Isn’t that an oxymoron in most cases?

  • Opininated

    I’m of the opinion that if it works in, and it’s worth doing, do it. How’s that for a bellybutton that everyone has?