Water­mark your images

Ge­orge Cairns shows you how to use the Print mod­ule’s Page panel to pro­tect your photos by adding wa­ter­marks or an Iden­tity Plate to each im­age

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Pro­tect your photos when post­ing them on­line by adding wa­ter­marks or an Iden­tity Plate

While em­bed­ding copy­right info into meta­data is use­ful, peo­ple can still ig­nore it

On­line gal­leries and port­fo­lios pro­vide quick and easy ways to share your images, but your photos are vul­ner­a­ble to theft on the In­ter­net. By shoot­ing a photo you au­to­mat­i­cally own its copy­right, but once it’s been down­loaded and re­posted to other sites, prospec­tive clients won’t nec­es­sar­ily know who the pho­to­graph be­longs to. This might re­sult in a photo be­ing used with­out any­one cred­it­ing or pay­ing you.

How­ever, you can dig­i­tally as­sign your copy­right and con­tact de­tails to a photo’s meta­data, so that this im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion will al­ways be at­tached to the im­age. This helps po­ten­tial clients con­tact you if they want to use the im­age in any way. But while em­bed­ding copy­right info into meta­data is use­ful, peo­ple can still ig­nore it and make an unau­tho­rized print of your im­age.

To pro­tect your photos more ef­fec­tively, Light­room’s Print mod­ule has a handy Page panel that en­ables you to add vis­ual wa­ter­marks and ‘Iden­tity Plates’ to each im­age. You can cre­ate wa­ter­marks by adding your own graphic-based lo­gos or by cus­tomiz­ing ex­ist­ing text. The trick to adding a water­mark to an im­age is to cre­ate in­for­ma­tive text with­out ob­scur­ing the colours and com­po­si­tion of your im­age.

STEP BY STEP / Pro­tect your pic­tures… 1 Add an Iden­tity Plate

We’ll start by adding wa­ter­marks to the photos in a cus­tom lay­out (see last is­sue). Tog­gle open the Page panel on the right. Click the Iden­tity Plate box. Tick Ren­der on ev­ery im­age. Click the pre­view win­dow and then Edit to cus­tom­ize the contents.

2 Cus­tom­ize the text

You can click the ‘Use a graph­i­cal Iden­tity Plate’ but­ton to im­port a logo file. This op­tion sup­ports trans­par­ent pix­els. Al­ter­na­tively, tick the Styled Text op­tion. Type some text, such as ‘PROOF’. Choose a font from the menu. You can also pick a colour for your text. Click OK.

3 Fine-tune the text

Set the Page panel’s Opac­ity slider to 32% to get a bal­ance be­tween be­ing able to read the text and see the photo. Drag the Scale slider to 62% to en­large the text so that it can’t be re­moved with a crop. All the photos on the page are now safe to share.

4 Add a water­mark

Tick the Water­mark­ing box. You can as­sign any copy­right pre­sets you have cre­ated pre­vi­ously. Al­ter­na­tively, click Edit Water­mark and type some text. Choose which cor­ner you want it to ap­pear in. Click Save to cre­ate a new pre­set.

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