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watermarking - photos etc

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by 205man, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. 205man
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    205man Active Member

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    [Sep 18, 2011]
    whats the best way to put a decent watermark on phots and art work?

    reason i ask is that ive found out another designer has copied some of my photos and plans from my website and has posted them on his......ive had to get my solictor to send him a polite letter as he didnt take them off after i emailed him asking him to, so will see if that works.

    but i dont want this happening again or try to reduce risk of it, i normal just put my company name across the bottom of the images but this guy cropped them so removing it.

    what im looking for is something not to distracting from the image but obvious its there and something that cant be edited out without lots of work. so wondered if / what you guys use aprt from of course photoshop i guess


    cheers
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  3. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Sep 18, 2011]
    This is a pretty much unending nightmare for me.

    Making a living from Photography is difficult enough, but it's far worse when every man and his dog just pinches images from your website - without asking, never mind paying.

    The best balance I've found is to copyright/contact mark at the edge as normal, and then put a large © over the image at something between 6-10% opacity - because it's not a word or phrase, and is so 'spread' across the image, it's not as much of a distraction as it might be (although obviously not as easy on the eye as a 'clean' picture)...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Rob.
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  4. gary3306
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    gary3306 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 18, 2011]
    My daughter does photography and she pretty much does the same as above.
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  5. 205man
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    205man Active Member

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    [Sep 18, 2011]
    thats the sort of thing rob im looking for , do you just use photoshop?, i did as you have and just had it on the edges but nothing in the middle, but obvious he cropped them to remove it.

    i would have been annoyed with just one photo but he pretty well copied my whole bloody site .....arsehole

    im not to worried about fact it not as nice as clean image as clients would see originals when i visited them

    and its the photos i need to protect as im also doing a part time photography course and will be putting together another site for that work so wnat to try protect as much as possible there
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  6. gary3306
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    gary3306 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 18, 2011]
    My daughter just uses photoshop, and puts her name diagonally across the picture and reduces the opacity
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  7. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 18, 2011]
    i tend to splat it across the photo and reduce the opacity as already said. i also ensure the meta data is up to date too. I use light room to process most pics and that water marks on export like photoshop
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  8. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid

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    [Sep 18, 2011]
    Ive had this from my website but tbh dont lose sleep over it, if you are a good photographer, there is plenty more where they came from........:icon_thumright:
    Its a different ball game if they are using your images to promote a business through deception of course.....:haudrauf:
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  9. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Yeah, it's just Photoshop. I've seen various ways suggested for doing it (custom/auto shapes etc.), I do it with 'Actions' now.

    For the majority of my work (the cricket stuff), I'm outputting files in one of about three or four aspect ratios, each sized to something similar, so I've recorded an action for each.

    For example, I've got one which spits out 800 x 533, another which spits out 533 x 533, etc.

    The method to set it up (in case it's useful).. Open an image, crop (if required) to whatever aspect ratio you want, then start recording an action... Firstly, resize the image as required (eg. 800 px wide), then create your text layers for 'edge' copyright/URL details etc, then create another and just paste the © into it (it's no more difficult than using a shape, but of course you can change the font), size and position it all to suit, set layer opacities, then do a 'Save As', before stopping the action-record. As a matter of course, I then uncheck the 'Save As' bit on the script, so nothing ever gets saved without my specifically requesting it, but as the script has a 'Save As' in it, it's possible to use for batch-processing too (because you can tick 'override Save As command' or whatever it is (in the batch options)) and set to run through a load of files and over-write or save according to specification for the run.

    People rinsing photography really winds me up. I guess if you're in a situation where you can show quality hard copy to clients, having to watermark somewhat more heavily is at least a bit more bearable, but it's still a shame it has to happen at all. I think Google Images and its peers have something to answer in desensitising people that they're actually ripping someone else off. I'm often shown new websites that people have done, albeit perhaps non-commercially, but the images are just grabbed from wherever. When its cricket sites, the copyright for these is often owned by Getty or PA etc., there'd be an almighty shockwave if agencies like that went after even the little guys who are using their stuff without authorisation.

    I'm quite prepared to be reasonable with people - if a big commercial entity wants one of my photos, I'd hope to license it for the going-rate, or something approaching it; on the other hand if a clearly penniless not-for-profit/charity came along, I'd be prepared to make concessions, but all too often these days, if people don't need to ask permission, they won't - hence my heavier watermarking.

    There was a case recently where a national newspaper (I'd rather not give such a rag publicity by naming them) approached a blogger about use of a photo, a (not unreasonable) price was named, and the paper said it was too steep; then promptly went ahead and took the image anyway. I think that's fairly indicative of how much a problem this issue actually is.

    Anyway... Rant over. All the best with your course/enterprise!

    Rob.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
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  10. NHN
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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Thats a great pic, how'd you achieve that?
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  11. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Rob, that photograph is stunning.
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  12. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Agree, fantastic. Have you got one without the © for my desktop Rob?

    Very slow exp. I believe NHN; the author will tell you in more detail, no doubt.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2011
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  13. 205man
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    205man Active Member

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    thats the reason he getting letter from my solicitor as he is passing the work off as his own, if he was just using it as random examples then wouldnt be so bothered , but he has a gallery promoting all his previous work


    thanks for the help rob ill start doing it abit more like you do.

    im guessing your night light trail shot was taken with a very long exposure?, have you used a filter on it to as the sky colouring possibly suggests polarising used? but its a great shot and thats the sort thing i wish i could do after i finish my course
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  14. gary3306
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    gary3306 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Looks like a HDR to me but then again I'm probably completely wrong. The last thing I am is a photographer :)
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  15. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Long shutter speed and a tri-pod
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :)
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  16. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Sep 19, 2011]

    Focal Length: 24mm
    Focus Distance: Infinite
    Aperture: f/8.0
    Exposure Time: 261.000 s
    ISO equiv: 100
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  17. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Your pic Scott?
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  18. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Them details are for Robs pic.
    Well, thats what is Exif says.
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  19. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Thanks for the kind comments folks :) :beerchug:

    Yup, as Scott suggests - it's essentially done by sitting the camera on a sturdy tripod (or anything else that won't move), and using a (fairly) slow shutter speed.

    There are various techniques that can be used within the technique - filters, HDR etc., but the shot above is pretty much as it came out of the camera. I've got a Circular Polariser, and a set of NDs & Graduated NDs (hard & soft), and while they're useful when you've got no option, I'm finding increasingly that (and perhaps it sounds obvious), it's better to avoid using them if at all possible; so I try as much as possible to plan around the 'virgin' light in a scene - in this case I was very lucky, it was around quarter-to-five in the morning, so the sun was on its way up just enough to put some colour on the horizon, no fiddling required :)

    For that shot I was using my 5D Mark II, with 24-105 f/4 L IS mounted at 24mm, sat on a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 (Manfrotto 460MG Head); aperture set at f/8 to get nice sharp front-to-back focus, and controlled with a cable-release. Shutter time was guestimated based on a couple of test shots.

    Here's a 'gentle' HDR one - in reality it's not that far removed from the single +/-0EV frame, but I tone-compressed with another to bring some detail into the back of the statue and the grass:

    [​IMG]

    And in this one I used a 2-stop Graduated ND to narrow the gap in brightness between the sky and foreground (superkarl might recognise this spot):

    [​IMG]

    Thanks again folks!

    Rob.
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  20. NHN
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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Kinda reminds me of the discovery channel series called iirc Sunrise, the scene's were stunning tbh, in HD, but were very soothing on the mind, peace & tranquility, few & far between these days.
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  21. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    I tried to check the website Rob, but there must have been so many hits it's crashed!
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  22. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    That sounds like my kind of a show. I'm seldom happier than when perched somewhere unlikely, miles from anyone, watching the sun up or down. It kinda serves as a reminder that no matter what mayhem I *think* is going on, it's all trivial nonsense when compared with nature doing its thing.
    I really wish that were the case! The images are hosted on my cricket photography website; but that's down at the moment for work - it's been a development over this season, but quite hotch-potch; because I've had to be a web-designer/programmer (had to hack features into the gallery script I use), photographer, publicist - then other things on top (ASN, helping out with a few other cricket websites etc.), so now the season's over it's down to be finished-off and re-stocked with the season's work.

    I'll post a link when it's done, just in case anyone's keen to look at a pile of cricket photos (although I keep threatening to expand on the 'other photography' section with more landscapes etc...).

    Cheers,

    Rob.
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  23. NHN
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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    I lived in South Africa for a year back in 2000 & the regular stops in Cape Town were a place called La Med in Seaview/Camps Bay, the sundowners there were awesome, sitting with your legs hanging over a wall, staring out to beautiful sun drenched sea, nice cool drink, watching the sun go down, was total bliss, have to say it was 1 of my best times of my life.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  24. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Nigel, those pics are amazing. Makes you want to be there.
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  25. NHN
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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    I was there lol.

    TBH those are online library pics which are actual pics of what it is like, but the real thing was bliss, total & utter bliss.
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  26. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    I have pics somewhere on the sun setting over new york, i must look them out.
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