Rick Hobbs Photography

Wildlife/Nature/Outdoor Photography

Photo Tips

Adding a Copyright Watermark to an Image

Adding a copyright watermark to your online images is always a good idea. I frequently get an e-mail from someone wanting to know how I added my copyright watermark to the images on my website. I am sure there are multiple ways of accomplishing the task and this article will explain my approach.

First of all I wanted the watermark to be readily available so I could simply copy and paste the watermark onto any image I plan to leave on my website or send to someone in an e-mail. As a result, there will be a little setup work first to prepare the watermark, then, you simply open, copy and paste your watermark onto any photograph.

Photographer at sunrise

Your watermark can be anything you want it to be. For this example the copyright watermark will read © Your Name. Let us also assume I am adding this watermark to a 4 x 6 image although you can add it to any size image you like. I will be using a PC, Microsoft Word and Photoshop 7.0 to accomplish this task.

The first step is to create the text with the copyright symbol.

Open a new Microsoft Word document and type in the text. To get the copyright symbol, go to the pull down menu at the top, click on Insert > Symbol and select the © copyright symbol, OR, type the three characters, "( c )", no spaces, and you will get ©, then simply type in your name. The finished text now reads © Your Name. Save this Word document with the filename: Copyright Your Name.

The second step is to create the watermark in Photoshop. I am assuming you have a basic understanding of Photoshop. Start Photoshop.

On the tool bar go down and click on "set background color". The Color Picker window pops open and select black and click OK. Now you are ready to setup your watermark file.

On the pull down menu at the top, click on File > New. The New window pops open and set the following parameters, Name: Watermark, Preset Sizes: Custom, Width: 4 inches, Height: 2 inches, Resolution: 72 pixels/inch, Mode: Grayscale, Contents: select Background Color and click OK. Now your file named, Watermark, pops up and it is a black image that is 4 inches by 2 inches and you are ready to setup the text.

Background Image

On the tool bar, click on the horizontal text tool "T". In the drop down boxes, up on the task bar, make the following selections, set the font family to: Arial, set the font style to: Bold, set the font size to: 30pt, then click on, set the text color. The Color Picker window pops open and select a very light gray and click OK. Now you are ready to add the text.

Go to your Microsoft Word window and open the copyright text file you previously prepared, in this example it was named: Copyright Your Name. Copy the text and go back to your Photoshop window. Put the cursor in the middle of the Watermark (black) image and click, this will establish a new layer where you can insert the text. Paste in the text. Grab the text and center it. NOTE: the Watermark image is 4 inches wide because the vertical image I am going to apply the watermark to is also 4 inches wide so you can see exactly how much of the image it will cover. If your name is longer than mine you may choose to use a smaller font or use two lines for the text.

Now you need to save your new watermark file. On the pull down menu at the top, click on File > Save, make sure you are pointed at the right destination folder and then click on Save, the layers box should already be selected. After saving the file, close the file named Watermark. Now your copyright watermark file is setup and ready to use.

Your new watermark file

To insert your new copyright watermark on an image is simple. In Photoshop, open the file named Watermark. Open a photograph and perform any Photoshop work that you desire. (Remember: this example was geared towards a 4 x 6 image.) When your photograph is ready the last thing you do is add the watermark.

On the tool bar, click on the horizontal text tool "T". Go to the Watermark file, click and drag over the watermark to highlight the text, Copy. Go to the photograph, center the cursor on the photograph and click to select the photograph, click a second time establish a new layer, Paste the watermark text. Grab the text and move it to the desired location. On the Layers window click on the Opacity tab to reveal the slider, grab the slider and adjust the opacity to meet your needs. Depending on the image I usually go for a number around 30-35%. I like to have the watermark visible but not overwhelming so each image could be a little different.

Wild horses in South Dakota

Once the watermark is positioned and looks fine then flatten the image so the watermark becomes part of the image. Click on the Background Layer, go to the pull down menu at the top, click on Layer > Flatten Image. The last step is to Save the image, now the photograph is watermarked and ready to be sent off to your website or attached in an e-mail.

After Copying and Pasting the watermark onto your images a few times you will see it goes very quickly.


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