Just today a friend of my pointed out how another friend of mine had watermarked over a photo taken by another friend of mine. The matter was settled (no names will be given) but I think it’s a good time to highlight the matter about watermarks.
What is a WATERMARK?
A watermark is basically something you MARK on your photo. It could be a logo (diagram / illustration), or text or both. goldfries.com, the watermark is as seen below – goldfries.com
2 main reasons to watermark –
a) Mark of ownership
b) Marketing purpose
For me, I do it primarily for b), if ever Google shows it in results or someone uses my photo some place – at least people know where it came from. There’s no need to go overboard on marking ownership of photos. I find no reason to purposely mark a photo when there’s no commercial value to it. Some people over-do their watermark out of some obsession over ownership, or something along the lines of that. It’s really unnecessary.
How to Watermark?
Just try out the free software available. I use Photoshop but it costs a lot if you’re just doing photography casually so a free software like GIMP would work great!
Other matters to note
1. Your watermark should not be distracting. Avoid having it BIG or in bright colors (eg pink?) that spoils the photo. I use white with shadows under the text. It’s simple and neat. Some people not only have it huge but they slap it right smack in the middle of the photo, it just disrupts the flow of view.
2. Do not remove watermark of other people’s photo if ever you decide to use them. For example, I used the following image in this article.
It was taken from lowyat.net and I didn’t remove the watermark.
3. If you do take someone else’s photo and wish to watermark, at least remember to get their consent and include the credits in the watermark itself. The image below was not taken by me, I got the consent from the owner of the photo before using it in this article.
Remember – watermark is a mark of ownership so DO NOT remove watermark of others. DO NOT watermark photos that are not yours. It is not a small matter, to photographers, this is as good as “Stealing” or to put it in a more mild mannered term, “taking credit for something not belonging to one self”.