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If you have been following my
Picasa Series, you'll know by now what an amazing all-around photo
app that Picasa is (and free too!). This class will be about
watermarking your photos. Watermarking is the overlaying of text
your photo to dissuade others from using your work without your
permission. Any photo on the
internet can easily be saved by others and used in their own pages. Even if you
were to go to the effort of programming and disabling the
right-click/save-as option, there is still screen capture command that
is all too simple to do.
Watermarking then is simply a deterrent to somebody who
may be thinking about taking your work.
If they take your photo, they also take the text that says it is your photo.
can be done by putting very visible text with your name and copyright text
on the photo (usually in the bottom right corner). This pretty much says
"hands off of my work AND I take it seriously." However
this corner text is easily cropped off if somebody wanted to remove your reference. So a
secondary option that you have is to overlay subtle (transparent) text on top of the main
portion of the photo. This therefore is not removable by the crop command. In the
sample photo on the right, I put both kinds of watermarks on the same photo.
If you are using transparent text as a watermark, consider the
position of the text. I chose one of the corners of the photo so it
isn't quite as detracting as right in the center of the frame. If you use
large enough letters, it covers a big enough zone that you have severely
limited a crop. Depending on if you are overlaying the text onto a light or
dark area, you will want to use text that is correspondingly dark or light
for proper contrast.
Can't somebody just photoshop out my watermark letters?
Yes, of course they can. But it is going to take time for them to do it. If
you strategically put your letters on more complex textures (instead of, say
an area of solid fill color) this is harder to brush out and make it not
obvious the photo was altered. Remember this is not going to prevent
somebody snatching your photo, this is just going to seriously deter them
from wanting to.
Now for the quick how-to instructions. Open your photo in Picasa and
click the Text tool (on the left-hand tool palette under
the "Basic Fixes" heading). Click somewhere in your photo approximately
where you want your text (you can easily move it). Type in the text that you
want to use. I would suggest either initials or a single word (in my case I
put a space between each letter which I think helps visually soften the
distraction of the watermark). Watermarking
would otherwise be rather distracting from the true subject material that
you are presenting. (I used ZMX which is part of my website branding call
TechZMX- BTW you can use that to follow me on Twitter!). Text objects in Picasa
are easily moved (drag the object) and sized. To resize, click to select the
text and drag the orange handle - right to enlarge, left to shrink.
left-hand palette you can pick your Font and Color. Also, you will want to
adjust the transparency factor. Slide the adjustment handle so the text
fades out enough to be subtle but not too much that you can't see it!
this sample, notice how the properties would be set for a light text on dark
background option. I have set the text to white. Also, the transparency
slider is on the high side of the middle mark whereas in the previous case
is was on the low side of the middle marker.
If you have been taking my Picasa classes, you'll know by now but I need
to make mention for those who don't know. Edits in Picasa are
non-destructive (meaning the original JPGs are left unaltered). You need to
do the Export command (bottom toolbar) to get a copy of your file that you
will use. The Export command also lets you resize the graphic to be the
optimal size (e.g. for web/blog).
Something else the Export command optionally does, is place watermark
stamp text for you
in the lower right corner of the image. This would especially be helpful if
you needed to watermark a larger batch of files as it would do it
automatically on each file. In my sample image, I'm using both kinds of
watermarks (larger transparent text and the more descriptive stamp text in
the lower corner) You can see what this looks like in the enlargement below.
So there you have some ideas about watermarking! The above techniques for
adding text are also good for adding captions into your
photos as well. If you want to learn more about Picasa, check out my
Picasa Series. That link will list the other articles.
I'm also currently in the midst of a
Video Series of articles on creating video presentations. Follow that
link if you want to learn more. And as always, consider subscribing to my
blog to keep up to date with the future articles that I post. I hope you
learned something today in Craig's Classroom!
About the Author
Craig Daniels is a Technology Manager residing in NYC who specializes in applied technologies in the fields of Architecture and Real Estate. Craig focuses on finding the best uses of tech as can be used to help a business be more successful. He is keen on always seeing the perspective and viewpoint of his audience and he tailors his teaching to be easily understood. He teaches by means of this blog, online courses and webinars, as well as one-on-one remote sessions with persons located throughout the country and beyond.
craig's classroom blog is a place to come for short technology lessons - here on ActiveRain I focus on technologies for real estate professionals - please subscribe if you want to catch future posts! :)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.