I’m a big advocate of watermarking your photos if planning to publish them “out there” in the internet world. Once you post photos to your blog, you lose possession of them to a certain extent. Anyone who really wants to, can copy/paste/download the image and use it as they please. Watermarking won’t stop this from happening, but it might deter someone from trying to pass off your photo as their own. At the very least, it makes it harder for them when your name/business is part of the image!
The beauty of a watermark is that it’s subtle. Your name is still on your work, but it doesn’t distract as much as simply laying straight text or icons over your picture. I recently updated the look of my blog and needed a new watermark for my photos that would reflect the new logo. Following are the steps that I think are the easiest way to create a watermark image…
You will need Photoshop to follow along with this tutorial. I use version CS6 but previous versions will work just the same. I believe the steps are similar if not identical in Photoshop Elements if you have access to that program in place of the full version.
Step 1. Whether you’re using an image/logo of some type, or just text with your name/blog name, create an image of it in black and white. If you don’t already have any type of logo, simply open a new document (200 x 200 pixels will be plenty, at 300 dpi) and pick a font and type the text you want, in solid black.
Step 2. In your layers palette, double-click on the layer with your logo/text. The above “layer style” box will pop up. Set your blending mode to Normal, Opacity at 60%, and Fill Opacity at 0%.
At this point your image/text should be looking sort of like the above…
Step 3. On the left hand side of the window, check the “Bevel and Emboss” option, then adjust the Depth, Size, and Soften numbers to 100%, 1px, and 0px. Click “OK” to close the box.
By now, your image should be looking more like this. Depending on how you started, you may have a “background” layer in your layers palette – if so, click on it and delete it:
Voila! You have your watermark! At this point, name the file and save it as a .PSD file (saving it as a JPEG will ruin the whole effect and add a white box to its background).
To use your new watermark, open a photo and use the “Place” command to set your watermark PSD file on top of the image. Use Ctrl-T or Apple-T to add the border box you see above which will allow you to make it larger or smaller, and use the arrow tool to move it around the image to place it where you like it best. Once you have it where you want it, flatten the image and re-save it (or save a copy) so you now have your watermarked photo ready to upload!