Friday, September 16, 2016

3 Reasons Why You Should Watermark Photos of Your Children

Most parents take pride in showing off pictures of their children and the Internet one of the most popular ways they do this.  Millions of people can see the photos you post in a matter of seconds.  Birthday parties, first steps and first days of school are just a few of the milestones that flood Instagram, Facebook and many other social media sites everyday.  Photographs are a great way of getting a glimpse into someone's life.  Usually this is a positive thing, but it's important to be careful when posting photos online.  One of the ways to keep your family safe is to watermark your photos.  While most photographs online aren't watermarked, there are many advantages to watermarking photographs of your children.

Use Personal Watermarks to Protect Your Photos from Theft


One benefit of photo watermarking is that it helps deter potential thieves from stealing your pictures.  Photos without a watermark can easily be stolen by anyone that has an Internet connection.  If your name is watermarked across your photos, thieves will be reminded that there are consequences for stealing pictures.  It's not a sure fire way to stop them, but if they do attempt to steal your photographs, it will be apparent to others that they are stolen.  Your pictures will still have the potential to be distributed, but your chosen watermark will give away that the pictures belong to you.

When it comes to photo theft online the reality is it happens all the time.  It can be scary to think there might be someone distributing your child's photographs as their own.  In some cases, it can even ruin your life.  If you're a parent, this probably sounds terrifying, but it's not hard to prevent it.  Watermarking your photographs will help protect you and your family and give you peace of mind in the virtual world.


Showcase Your Child's Personality with Custom Watermarks


Another benefit of watermarking your photographs is that you can let your creative side shine.  If your child has a favorite cartoon character, you can create a custom watermark of that character.  Turn your child's favorite animal into a watermark.  Have a school bus watermarked into a photograph of the first day of school.  Not only will your child love the personal touch, but people will get to know a little more about your family.

Explain Your Photos Through Descriptive Watermarks


You can turn just about anything into a custom watermark.  You could use a quote, date, description or just about anything else you can come up with.  Dates come in handy for photos of the first day of school, first steps and birthdays.  Descriptions can be used to explain what's going on in the picture.  A quote could be an inspiring thought or funny anecdote that you can look back on and smile.  If you have vacation photos, watermark the name of the city or attraction you went to into photos of your family's trip.  Let yourself get creative and let the world get to know your child's likes and dislikes.  The possibilities are endless.

When it comes to parenting, it's always good to be safe.  Don't risk the safety of your family.  Watermarking your photos can protect you as well as be fun.  Let your children be part of the process if they're old enough.  Have them help choose the designs you use to watermark your photos.  Turn it into a fun bonding experience that you can use to discuss Internet safety.  Most importantly, have fun creating memories with your children.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Watermark Your Photographs To Protect Them From Theft

Technology has brought wonderful advancements to the field of photography. The digital age allows photographers to see their images as soon as they are taken. Some adjustments can be made inside the camera and others in a digital darkroom, such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel PaintShop Pro. The Internet has opened up opportunities for photographers to show and sell their work on blogs and websites that can be viewed from computers, tablets, and smartphones. Along with benefits for photographers, the Internet provides opportunities for intellectual property thieves. Photographic images are being stolen from Internet websites every day, and used for profit making ventures by someone other than the owner. Watermarking photographs that are placed on line is the best way to prevent theft.

Why Are Images Stolen?

A small number of people believe every photograph posted online is free for the taking, but the majority know better. Everyone is looking for a way to make a few extra dollars, and some are using other people's photographs to create products in on-demand print shops. Zazzle and Cafe Press are just two of the many companies that offer mugs, clothing, greeting cards, tote bags, calendars, and numerous other items to be printed with photographic images. The items are then sold at a profit to the person uploading the photographs. Unscrupulous freelancers grab photographs from blogs and websites and upload to on-demand print companies and earn money from another person's hard work.

Photography calendars are very popular items during the holidays, and some small print shops search for location-themed images online to print calendars to sell to businesses in their community. These calendars are usually printed with the business name. Newspapers and magazines have grabbed images from the Internet to avoid paying a local photographer. The sad fact is most photographers cannot afford to sue someone for using their image without permission. Even though intellectual property is copyrighted the moment it is created, you must go to court and prove it is yours if you want to recover the financial loss. Some people steal images to post on their website or to use as screen savers. They aren't using them for financial gain, but they are still doing it without the knowledge or permission of the photographer.

How Can Your Protect Your Work?

Don't become discouraged if you have images stolen. Avoid the temptation to stop posting your photography on the Internet. You will lose opportunities for sales and the chance to build your name as a brand. Watermarking your photography is the common sense solution for the thievery that is becoming commonplace. There are several ways to create an effective watermark for photographers who have graphic editing programs and skills. If you are using Adobe Photoshop, you can make a custom watermark brush that is saved and can be used for all your images, and you can watch a tutorial on how to create it at PHLEARN.com. Corel PaintShop Pro, and Gimp online tutorials also demonstrate ways to create attractive watermarks. Some photographers type their name in capital letters on their photographs, but that can appear distracting, awkward and unprofessional.

What If You Don't Have A Graphics Program?

If you have never used a graphics program other than what your computer and camera software offer, you can still protect your images with online watermark services. You can pick and choose your style, color, and font from a large variety of presets, or you can follow the instructions to design your own. It's easy, fast, and affordable. You can be protecting your beautiful photographic images in just minutes.

Don't take chances with your images, because no one else should be profiting from your work. Create a professional watermark to protect your photography and thwart the intellectual property thieves.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Summertime Updates

We just released the another big update to Watermarquee, for both Free and Pro users.

Reduced Memory Usage

We've cut the amount of memory used to render your photos in half, which should lead to less of a load on your computer while rendering your watermarked photos is occurring.

Incremental Rendering

Previously, all of your photos were rendered at the same time. Now, the system will render 3 images at the same time and then automatically move on to the next 3. This should let you see rendering progress much faster, when you're rendering a lot of watermarked images.

Auto-rotation of photos

This one is my favorite. It's a pain to have to rotate images taken on your camera phone, so now Watermarquee will automatically rotate photos for your when you first upload them.

If you run into any problems, please let us know by emailing us at support@watermarquee.com.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A New Water Marquee

In January, Water Marquee is going to be getting its biggest change since it started over four years ago.  The change includes a complete new look and a complete re-write of both the front and back-end code base.



A New Look


The new version of Water Marquee has a completely new design that is cleaner and more modern. Gone is the red background you saw when watermarking your photos, replaced by a more conventional dark background, which will help to highlight your photos while you add your watermarks.  You'll also have more room in the editing window, so you can position your watermark with a higher degree of precision.


New Features


Users of both the free version of Water Marquee, and Water Marquee Pro users, will see a lot of new features.

  • New fonts. Water Marquee users currently have 12 fonts they can use. In the new version of Water Marquee, that jumps to 23 for users of the free version, and over 60 for Pro users.
  • Bigger photos. Users of the free version of Water Marquee will now be able to watermark photos up to 3 MB in size, up from the current 1 MB limit. Pro users will continue to be able to watermark images of any size.
  • Multiple watermarks.  Currently, Water Marquee users are limited to 1 watermark, either text or logo, per photo. The new version allows you to add an unlimited number of either type of watermark, allowing for more creative and interesting watermarks.
  • Templates.  The new version of Water Marquee will offer watermark templates, which are pre-made watermarks that will help you find the watermark style that works best for you.
In addition, the new version of Water Marquee is much faster, both for free and Pro users.

Lower Price for Pro Access


The current version of Water Marquee is $5 per month, but the new version is $5 for life. That means that you pay $5 one time, and then can use Water Marquee Pro forever.

Coming Soon

The new version of Water Marquee goes live in January. If you'd like to check it out before then, you can head over to the Beta version. We'd love to hear your feedback!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tips for Better Landscape Photography

Whether you like to take travel shots on vacations or just wander around the areas close to your home, landscape photography is more than just point and shoot. As with any other type of photography, a little knowledge and a lot of practice will make your landscape photography much better. The practice is up to you, but this article will give several tips for taking your landscape photography to the next level.
 


Learn About Focal Points and Depth of Field

 
Most landscape photography covers a lot of territory from close to the photographer to the far distance. There can also be a wide variety of subjects in the shot, such as architecture, trees, mountains, etc. The first thing you need to decide is what is the main subject? This will be your focal point. Learn how to choose the focal point for your camera and make sure the main subject is in sharp focus. Depth of field refers to how much of the image is in focus. For most landscape photographs, this will be almost everything in sight. To achieve this, you will need to shoot a small aperture. In many circumstances, this will cause you to slow the shutter speed below what can be handled hand-held. This will lead to ....
 


Use a Tripod

 
You will never, ever see a professional photographer take a landscape shot that they are going to use in their portfolio without a tripod. This piece of equipment is more than just a gimmick or expensive toy. Using a tripod serves one main purpose and provides a side benefit you may not know about. The main advantage most people are aware of is that the tripod eliminates camera shake from hand holding your camera. This is especially important with the small aperture needed for the depth of field desired in most landscape shots.

Another advantage to the tripod is it forces you to think about the shot a bit more. It's easy to walk around, raise the camera, snap a few frames and then move to a new spot. The tripod takes a bit more time to set up and get in the right position. This will slow you down and force you to think about what is in the viewfinder. And this leads to ....
 


Think About the Composition

 
As you look through the viewfinder, think about what is and what is not in the frame. Are there things in the frame you don't want that a few steps to the left will eliminate? Are there things that aren't in the frame you want that backing up a bit would include? Where is your main subject? Avoid putting the main subject in the center of the frame. Placing it a bit off-center adds more interest to the shot. How about the angle? If you have a beautiful sky, maybe tilt the camera up a bit to include more. If it is is dull or blown out, tilt the shot down and minimize the visible sky. Walk around and look at the landscape from different angles, positions and elevations.
 

Learn these few simple tricks and get out there and practice. Before long, you will be taking home breathtaking landscapes.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Make Money from Stock Photography: How to Prepare Your Pictures

If you're interested in making money with your camera, the world of stock photography can be very lucrative. A stock photographer can choose the subjects he shoots and the hours he works, and it's a more flexible option than being a portrait or wedding photographer. Stock photography is very competitive, and you have to be able to produce high quality images with an original and creative approach.

Images look different when viewed online, and there are several steps you must take to make sure they appear as sharp and bright as when you look at them on a camera screen or external monitor. The stock photographer also needs to take precautions to protect his pictures and reduce the risk of copyright theft. The following 4 step process will ensure your images have the greatest chance of selling when listed on a stock photography site.



1) Get it right in the camera


Don't create work for yourself by making basic mistakes when shooting stock images. Ensure every picture is composed and framed for maximum impact, and pay attention to focus and exposure. You can make minor adjustments in Photoshop or other photo editing software later, but it's better to get things right first time. If you work with a modern digital SLR camera you should be able to rely on automatic shooting modes, but don't take things for granted and expect perfect results every time. Difficult lighting conditions can fool a camera's metering functions, and great pictures can be ruined by over or underexposure. Shooting with a tripod can help to ensure maximum sharpness, and can make the difference between an amateur and a professional photograph.

If your camera has the capability, shoot in RAW mode rather than the more popular JPEG. Working in RAW format gives you much greater flexibility to correct exposure, color balance and sharpness of images. If you're serious about making money with your camera, you need to learn how to work in RAW to produce the finest quality images possible.



2) Adjust exposure, contrast and brightness


Even the most experienced photographer doesn't get it right every time, and stock libraries will only accept perfectly exposed images. Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop are great for making the necessary adjustments, and it only takes a minute to use the tools available to adjust and correct exposure. Learn to use the levels readings to understand the best way to adjust an image.



3) Sharpen your images


Picture editing software offers various tools to sharpen images, and this is another important step in preparing them for submission to stock libraries. If you've shot in RAW format it's very easy to improve clarity and sharpness using the filter options.



4) Adjust color and white balance


Color casts are one of the main reasons pictures are rejected by stock libraries. You can rely on your camera to adjust white balance automatically most of the time, but it's necessary to intervene manually in some conditions. If shooting indoors, pay attention to the color of artificial lighting and how this mixes with light from windows. If you can't find a suitable camera setting, remember to process the images in the digital darkroom to correct color casts.


Most stock libraries will apply their own copyright protection to your images, but always check this before submitting. If the policy isn't clear, add a watermark using Water Marquee to ensure your pictures aren't downloaded and used without your consent.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Share your Photos with the Water Marquee Community

Hundreds of talented photographers use Water Marquee every day, and now we're able to show off what everyone has been working on.  If you'd like the world to see your work, share your photos with the Water Marquee community!



If selected, your photo will be displayed on our Facebook Page and Twitter feed.  We'll include a brief description from your about why the photo is special, and link to your home page where everyone can see more of your work.



If you're interested, just fill out this form. We look forward to seeing what you've been up to!