A blog about life, food and photography.

Why I use watermarks

Why I use watermarks

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Now, I would love it if we lived in a perfect world where everyone respected everyone’s property and didn’t consider blogs as a source of free photos. But we don’t live in that world. And while I love getting pingbacks from readers, that’s when I notice the small percentage of websites who cropped my watermarks. Bad move! If you are linking back to my site, I understand that you’re giving me credit for my recipe, and I thank you for it, I really do. But when you link back and I see that you cropped my watermarks out, well, that’s a totally different story. You just stole them.

There are probably a bigger number of websites who don’t give a pingback, therefore I would never know if they stole anything from my blog. As of now I can’t do anything about that. It’s something you gotta live with as a blogger. And the sites that I found who cropped out my watermarks, well, most of them made an honest mistake and didn’t realize it was stealing, considering they linked back to my site. But honest mistake or not, watermarks are there FOR A REASON, not just to look pretty! It’s there to say, hey, this is copyrighted, don’t remove me. And if you think removing the watermark makes it yours, that’s like stealing the king before a chess game starts and saying, hey you lose already cuz you didn’t have a king to begin with! Ok, I couldn’t come up with a better analogy, I didn’t have my coffee yet.

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Some Photoshop tips.

A couple of tips I’d like to add when you are posting photos on your blog. 99% of you probably already do this, but save your images to 72 dpi. It reduces the file size dramatically, and your site won’t be as slow when loading.

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First, save your file as a jpeg, png or gif for web viewing only. I save all my files as jpegs. Also save as Baseline Optimized. Optimized format supposedly saves the file with the optimal color, and better compression. Do NOT use progressive. Just trust me. Baseline Standard is ok, Photoshop uses this as the default format option. It won’t harm anything if you forget to save as optimized and use standard.

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For my watermark, I built a file in Photoshop called watermark.psd.

Canvas size: 4″€ x 2″

Resolution: 72dpi

My size for the type is 30 pt. Use any font, color and opacity you’d like. I honestly don’t even know the font I’m using. I created this months ago and have been using it since. Save this file and open it whenever you’re working on photos for your blog. Drag it onto your photo files and place it where you would like.

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This is how I choose to watermark my photos for my blog. I know it’s not the best place, because it’s always in a corner, and can be easily cropped or removed. But I didn’t want to sacrifice the precious real estate of each photo, since the photos are for your viewing enjoyment. The watermark shouldn’t be plastered obnoxiously all over the place so I can scream at you saying THIS IS MINE! MINE! MINE!!! BACK OFF! I don’t want you to feel ripped off when you visit my site.

I want it to look like a sweet innocent friendly reminder for people to be respectful of my property. And if they’d like to borrow the photo and post it on their site, with the watermark, then go for it. As long as they acknowledge where it came from. It should be that simple.

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I considered plastering it smack dab in the middle of each photo once. But I find it extremely distracting (yet slightly hypnotizing being in the center and all), especially since I show so many photos per recipe. But every time I have to speak to someone about stealing. It’s tempting to completely change my tune and do it this way. But I never can.

I like you people too much.

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I actually like this method. I think it looks classy and sophisticated. I’ve seen it on a few blogs and it looks beautiful. And it would be really nice to do if I showed less than a few photos per post. But since I show 473 photos per post, it doesn’t end up looking classy or sophisticated anymore. Just distracting again.

I actually used this watermark once awhile back because I wasn’t getting paid for a photo shoot I did for a customer. Long story. So I plastered this on each photo. They still asked for free photos on a CD with watermarks removed. Sigh.

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This method is the one I dislike the most. I know a lot of people use this type of watermark on their blogs, but it screams ‘LOOK AT ME I’VE BEEN A VICTIM OF A CRIME!’ That’s all. And it feels like you’re punishing all the good readers out there trying to enjoy your blog. Don’t do this, unless you’re also demanding readers to click on each ad on your site before leaving (yes I’ve actually seen that happen before).

So kids, that’s all I’ve got for now. My disclaimer and FAQ about watermarks wasn’t being read so I figured I’d do a giant obnoxious post about it instead. Hope this helps anyone who woke up this very Friday morning pondering this very specific issue.



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