No, I’m not stupid. I know there are lots of tutorials out there explaining how to watermark pictures. However, as of today, there doesn’t seem to be one that is both a) up to date, and b) written for people who honestly don’t care much about photography and who don’t understand/care to take the the time to learn about all the weird jargon and lingo associated with photography. I don’t know what kind of camera we have…just that it is in a tan and green camera case. So for all of you, here’s a nice, quick explanation of how to create a watermark the very easy way…one that can be used over and over again on blogs where the main point is something other than your own (maybe not so) amazingly wonderful photography.
Why watermark? I never really cared, until I recently came across MY PHOTO, of food I designed and created, posted on a very large, very public, very Pisses-Me-Off-Now food site. No credit, no nothing, and they’re using it on Pinterest, too. (It’s Foodie.com, in case you’re interested in likewise un-following them). The photo isn’t great (I’m no photographer, but that pumpkin fondue was killer amazing), and I don’t care that they used it, but no credit for what’s in the photo itself is what bothers me. I used to think a watermark was mainly for great photos – but I now know that it’s important to protect what’s featured in those photos, regardless of the photographic quality.
So here it is — Watermarking for Sewists (because hey, we’re not Dummies)
1. Download this free program. It’s called Gimp, and it’s the faster, easier, free version of adobe photoshop. No need to learn a whole new vocabulary…though the program does a lot of cool stuff, it’s streamlined enough so that you can create a quick, easy logo without a lot of excess hassle.
2. Create your logo by doing the following:
EASIEST, FASTEST WAY
a. Open Gimp.
b. Go to File>Create>Logos. Choose your style from the dozens listed, fill in your text in the uppermost dialog box, then hit Create.
c. If you chose a style that allows for a transparent background but you ended up with a white one instead, go to Layer>Transparency>Add Alpha Channel. OR, go to Layer>Transparency>Color to Alpha.
d. Save your creation AS A .PNG file. A .jpg will come out pure white because flattened .jpg’s can’t handle transparencies.
MORE CUSTOMIZED WAY
a. Open Gimp.
b. Go to File>New. Add your text, add a logo, whatever you choose. You may import just about any file into Gimp, too. I won’t go into detail here because the tutorials on the Gimp site are great, but you can easily change the color of a logo you already have, say from black to white, with a couple clicks.
c. Save your creation AS A .PNG file. A .jpg will come out pure white because flattened .jpg’s can’t handle transparencies.
3. Go to PicMonkey. This is the free online photo editing site that works beautifully with Gimp.
4. Open the photo you wish to mark. Edit it if needed (change color, contrast, add frames, whatever…)
5. Click the butterfly icon on the left, then click the “Your Own” box at the top. A dialog box will open, where you may choose the file you just saved in Gimp.
6. A new box will open and your artwork/logo will appear on top of your photo. You may play with the blend modes, but you may also just go to the Fade bar and set it at 40% to begin…your logo is now semi-transparent. Play with your fade until it’s just right, and you’re finished!
Here’s a quick sample, with a watermark close-up:
Sure, there are slicker, fancier ways to do this, but each minute I spend perfecting my photos is another minute spent away from the shop…and when I’m not there to supervise, I swear the fabric piles multiply on their own. So I’ll leave the obsessive photo-perfecting to my photo-blogging friends, and I’ll get back to sewing for their kids…