What about watermarks on your photos on your site?
Do you think it is a bad practice to watermark images you put on an automotive site that you do. I have a case where people like to steal my photos often from my automotive portfolio but I do openly share photos on facebook. Do you think it is okay to watermark photos on my site and on my facebook pages? Will people look down on this and degrade the quality of my work if i have watermarks. I do occasionally sell photos that I do.
I think it is Ok to watermark photos; there are lots of different watermarking methods.
I would not put something obtrusive right across the middle of the photo although you would need to obscure at least part of the important area of the photo.
Definitely not. Infact you should watermark your images if it a copyrighted work by you or you simply do not want anyone else to use it without your permission. But like sated it should not be a hindrance.
I think it's OK to use subtle watermarks, not sure it makes much of a difference to people stealing though. Something you could also consider is turning it into an income stream; watermark the images and add text saying "want to licence this picture? Click here!" then offer stuff at a really low price and make it simple and quick for them to do.
I have decided to go the subtle way with small watermarks.. just enough that I can identify my work and also demand that it be respected in terms of usage rights. The only last question I would have is what about your work that you sell??? I know for a fact others who have purchased my work and posted on other sites without any watermark have been taken and reposted somewhere else. I guess old material i will never have any control over.
That's just the Internet unfortunately, you can drive yourself crazy worrying about it, you've just got to try and get something out of it (the original sale), I know a lot of pro photographers and they're all miserable at the moment because of image stealing and also because their stock libraries are earning nothing now because people are happy to use lower quality but very cheap stuff off of istock or whatever. A photographer I licensed some shots off called me not long ago screaming that I had been giving his image out to people for free; I absolutely hadn't, a few people had just lifted it off of Google Images.
When you think about it, a lot of these people that steal images won't have any money to pay for them anyway so it's not worth wearing yourself out trying to police things, just try and look out for big comps doing it or people who are making significant money off your work. One of those pros I know went to an art exhibition and found two oil paintings precisely copied from two of his photos and selling for thousands, so he took the artist to court. Little websites taking his work he doesn't bother chasing because it's just not worth it.
It's frustrating for sure, but impossible to avoid without spending half your time scouring the web looking out for your pictures.
I agree with much of what has been said here - you really can drive yourself crazy. I'm also an expert retoucher and I know I can remove 99% of watermarks out there in under 10 minutes.
I also don't watermark any of my photos - if people steal the image then they steal it. If I make a really great image and it gets propagated around the internet then maybe someone might ask ... who shot that photo? And its not hard for someone who asked that to do some sleuthing to find me.
I remember this topic used to come up over and over and over again in the Graphics forum.
There really is no definite answer, and it comes down to personal preference and how much risk you're personally willing to accept.
First of all, there is NO way to prevent your image from being downloaded, watermark or not, disabling right-click or not, using Flash or not, using an "image condom" or not, it's always possible for someone who really wants your picture to get it (even if they go so far as to screenshot it).
After you accept that fact, you accept that putting a certain image up carried more benefits than risks for you, so the next question is how much risk you want to accept. And here's where there are two camps;
One bunch will say that no matter what you do, a determined enough person could both get your image and edit the watermark off, so may as well have the image look its best (by not having a watermark) for everyone else who just want to enjoy but not steal it.
Then the other bunch says that in no way, no how, do I want someone to steal my image and I'll upload it at 50% and cover it up with scan lines if I have to!
I have to tell you, I'm a little biased to the first camp. For me, and again you don't have to do this, I like putting just a modest name and website address at the bottom so that everyone can enjoy the image and at least if someone does download it for their blog or whatever, I'll get somekind of milage at least. That doesn't mean that I'm happy about people stealing it, or using without paying me, it burns me up! But it's just one of those realities you have to accept in web-publishing, I think.
The hope for me is that publishing the images benefits me more than the odd person who would steal and use it.
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If you look at just about any work of art, from classic paintings to modern cartoons, you'll see that the artist generally has placed his name somewhere. This isn't a watermark, but it is copyright protection and perhaps one that most thieves aren't aware of. Why not try that?
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watermark on photographs is good because it's for your own protection also. People cannot use your pictures without your permission, so if they used it without your knowledge, you can ask them to removed it or if they don't, you can sue them for that.
Agreed with everyone. Its a very wise idea to watermark your photos as by doing this you are restricting others to use your photos without your permission and hence no one to authorized to use your photos. So, in my opinion its a very good idea.