What’s mine is mine: adding a watermark

Untitled Toned Cyanotype, from the series "Doors of the Dead"

I trust individuals, not people.   I could stick a nice little copyright notice on my blog indicating that my work is indeed my work and please don’t copy it – but that’s being slightly naive.  So, I add an unobtrusive watermark to all my pics just in case someone likes my work so much they want to pass it off as their own. 

It’s really simple if you have photoshop – I’m sure it’s just as easy using other programs, but I’m not familiar with those so I’ll stick to PS. 

On a new layer, type or paste your copyright notice.  Mine is a simple phrase of white text so that I don’t have to keep pasting things in.  With that layer selected, go to Layer > Layer styles > Bevel and Emboss.  I really don’t do that much to the default settings.  After you apply the Bevel and Emboss style, go to the layer window and swing the Fill tab all the way to 0%, and the Opacity to about 30%.   Stick it somewhere unobtrusive, but in a spot that would ruin the pic if it’s cropped.  Tacking it on the edge defeats the purpose.   Remember to flatten the layers and save the pic as a different file or you’re stuck with the watermark on your original.

See? simple really.  I don’t see why more people don’t protect their images this way.

On a side note, my cyanotype series are toning well.  I’ve experimented with green tea and instant coffee – I LOVE the coffee look – it’s a pure black with cool tones, but can look a bit flat.  The green tea (it’s supposed to go pink in a light print) is nice as well, with slightly pink/purple highlights and a deep purply black.  I’ll post some samples when I finish with the good prints.  I’m still looking for that perfect toner that gives pure deep blacks and doesn’t stain the highlights horribly.

Image:  8×10 tea toned cyanotype, digital negative.


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