Categories: Tutorial

Watermarking Photos under lock and key

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Each time you upload your image to the network, there’s the likelihood that it will be used not only by you. It is impossible to
stop completely the  illegal copying of your images, but it is possible to do this rather complicated. Creating a watermark can help you not only to protect your photos, put them under “Digital” lock, but also to promote your web site.

Consider the ways to “brand” your image:
1st way– Digital image watermarking. You can’t see it by human eye. Changing the color of certain pixels in the image, the information, messages, and even files can be saved. We are talking about the steganography methods. Moreover, the information about the owner of the image is hidden. On the one hand the potential violator of property rights cannot clearly define such a right, on the other – if it is violated you can use the digital watermark as proof of guilt. The big point of Digital watermarking is that the image doesn’t have any visual extra elements that can spoil the image.The most well-known program is Digimarc ( http://www.digimarc.com/digimarc-for-images/ ) But even the most basic version is quite expensive -49 $ and its limited to 2000images.
Second way-Authorship data can be added to the EXIF or IPTC. By editing these field in RAW or JPEG editor, you can add information about the author of the image. This type of Watermarking is ideal for determining the author of the image, but not very effective against illegal copying, since the EXIF or IPTC can be quite edited.
Third way. Visual watermark. There are many types. You can add captions with your name to the image, your Portal address, you can create a criss-cross lines, frames, and etc, use any means to make the copying of the image meaningless. The aim of the watermark – to make it non-removable. There are many programs for the application of visual watermarks, we reviewed the three typical shareware programs in the same price range.
TSR Watermark – free for a month, or buy it for $ 29. The program interface has a three-step wizard, in which we choose the place we take the image, how to apply watermark and where to safe the image. There are effects for the inscriptions, indentation are regulated, special symbols are added.

  • Pros – it’s multilanguage, a large number of settings and output formats, you can add a logo, the folder structure is saved for Export.
  • Cons – non-intuitive interface, relatively low speed, lack of templates, you cannot set a fixed position of the watermark.

BatchMarker – simplicity at the level of intuition. The interface consists of panels responsible for one group actions: the menu bar, toolbar watermarks / logos, bar photos, cover Export. Inscriptions have settings where you can activate the background box. A unique feature is the addition of crisscross lines, that makes impossible to to cut the image to remove the watermark. Price is lower than TSR Watermark, and it’s27.5 $.

  • Pros – Unique option lines and background box, adding a logo, adding date / time from EXIF as watermarks, templates, intuitive user interface.
  • Cons – Not so many settings, the average speed.

Batch Picture Protector – simplicity on the brink of discomfort. Interface is concentrated in one window with the menu. You can select a group of files or  folder and work with these photos in the form of line. Then you can add a label or logo, and export images in a convenient format. A unique feature is the ability to preview images. This is the most expensive of the three programs, the price is $ 29.95.

  • Pros – easy interface, all the major settings in a one window, you can add the logo, the folder structure is preserved, there is a background box.
  • Cons – inconvenient location of settings, there is no option of lines, there is no possibility use the date / time from EXIF.

To choose one of these three is difficult, they are almost similar. TSR Watermark is the richest in features, but it has quite awkward interface and no ability to save template that can save you time. BatchMarker is a workhorse with a minimum price of three, but at the same time with decent features and a simple interface that accurately save you time, especially saving and loading templates. Batch Picture Protector  is too simple to be the most expensive of the three, It has the possibility of lower TSR Watermark, the rest of the functions are similar to the other two. Also there is several free online solutions, for example PicMarkr (www.picmarkr.com) or Watermarktool (www.watermarktool.com), but they have limited functions (only several watermark options, files limit to upload).

Visual Watermarking Tips & Tricks

  • Free viewer and image processors, such as Picasa, that has the basic features of adding watermark, can be recommended as the alternative to paid programs.
  • Nice logo is the best watermark
  • The worst way, though the most reliable one,  is to cover all image with some text or graphic watermarks. This image won’t be stolen, but it has no aesthetic value.
  • Visual watermark can be used not only to protect your property rights but also to promote your own site. Pointing the web site address on the image will help you to attract new visitors if this image will appear on the popular resource.
  • Also – do not forget to write on your site or Photo-blog that the copying and using of the images is prohibited without your consent.

Roman Yarovoy
Software developer
Author bio:
Roman Yarovoy – independent software developer. Developing photo-processing software for 4 years. I’m photographer and I understand how important to have tools that provide easily and fast photo-processing in our photo world. Current task is developing software, which automatically do all photo-processing stuff (import / sort / resize / watermark your pictures). www.batch-photo-processing.com

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