Watermarks, Tagging and Copyrights

Written by Iceman on August 29th, 2008

Recently on my Flickr page another photographer —Neil Creek (blog)– commented on one of my photos that he liked.

I like this shot, and I’ve chosen it as one of my “weekly pics” on my blog, but I have to say, I really dislike your watermark I’m afraid. I think it’s too large, the colour is a distraction, and the bezel/shadow makes it look amateurish.

That is my own personal taste of course. However I suggest having a think about it and ask yourself why you use it. If it’s to prevent theft, then a larger one covering more of the image, but only 10% or so opaque might be better. If it’s just for use as credit, then I think it should be smaller and less obtrusive.

Please feel free to ignore my suggestions if you are happy with it as it 🙂

That got me to thinking about what the watermark I use on the Flickr site is for? As I’m sure you know I watermark all of my Flickr photos, but why do I do it? I guess there are a couple of possible reasons:

  1. For image protection – but I typically try and push the watermark out to the side to prevent ruining the viewing experience
  2. For recognition – but I don’t link back to my website or blog in the watermark nor do I watermark with my name

It seems to me that I am accomplishing neither of my goals and at the same time I am affecting the viewer experience.

Another interesting note is that Neil uses a watermark in his photos (small and to the right of the photo), so I would suggest that he dosen’t have an issue with watermarks in principle.

My question to you all is this: what is your opinion of watermarking photos? Do you like them, do you use them, do you think they work (for any purpose)?

I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the future. I currently have about 50 or so photos in the upload queue that are watermarked, so I doubt I will re-process them. For new photos, perhaps I will forgo watermarking them (it will certainly reduce the processing time required!) and see how it goes.


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