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Watermarking Your Photos: The Good and Bad Side

In the creative sense, a watermark also serves as the photographer’s signature. It is pretty much like the painter’s signature that you see in the lower part of visual masterpieces. In today’s technologically advanced society, the watermark plays a more important role.

Nowadays, a watermark is attached to a photograph to protect it from online thieves. Generally, the watermark can be a logo, a symbol, an image, or a name or text. It is placed directly over the photograph, in an area that you have the freedom of choosing.

But even when a watermark is essential for your photographs’ protection, just like other things, it has both a good and bad side. Let’s examine both:

The Good

As previously mentioned, a watermark serves as the signature of the artist. It is an indication that he owns that piece of art. A watermark is also considered the trademark of a photographer; therefore, it somehow announces that nobody has the right to claim that piece as his because it is somebody’s “trademark” already.

Additionally, a watermark can be used as a marketing technique. When you attach your signature or logo to a photograph, you are branding it. This makes it easier for audiences to identify your art.

The Bad

Although watermarking has long been used as protection against photo theft, it is not enough. There are software and apps that can delete or erase a watermark. Others simply cut out the watermarked portion before they post and claim the photo as their own.

The best thing to do would be to find additional procedures that you can add to ensure the safety of your work.

To make your watermark effective, there are several things you need to consider. First off, you have to spend some time thinking about what your watermark will be like. Will it be an image, a logo or symbol, or with it be just your name? Remember, you also need to consider its effect on the aesthetics of the photo. Therefore, try your best to come up with a distinct and creative watermark.

In relation to photo aesthetics, you likewise need to consider the size of your watermark. How big or small do you want it to be? What size is best so that people will easily notice it? Don’t go overboard with a watermark that is too big or too small.

The best thing to remember, however, is that the watermark is there because you value your work and you want to protect it.

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4 Tips for Protecting Your Blog Photos from Online Thieves

Picture this scenario: You turn on your laptop and proceed to Google. You log in to Facebook, excited to find out how many people have clicked on the link to your latest blog entry, which you posted on your FB page. But, you get the biggest surprise of your blogging life when you find a private message from one of your friends informing you that someone just used one of your photos, edited it and erased your watermark, and claimed it as his own. You’ve heard of horror stories like this before, but this was the first time it happened to you.

What do you do then? How will you reclaim your intellectual property? What will you tell that person who stole your photo? These questions are quite difficult to answer and you will need guidance from a legal professional in resolving the issue. Then you start blaming yourself for being careless. If only you knew how to protect your blog photos from online thieves, this wouldn’t have happened.

You then sit down and do some research. You find four important things to do to keep your photos protected. You write these down, promising to follow each one.

Understand the Law

The first and most important thing you need to do is study the copyrights law in your country, state, or city. If you are familiar with the said law, you will automatically know when a violation has been made. Proper knowledge of the copyrights law will also help you know the consequences that await violators.

All Rights Reserved

Step number two is to add an All Rights Reserved to each of your photos. Indicate your name and the year the material was created. Do not be satisfied with just a watermark because this can be easily edited out. Always indicate that no one can use the photo unless they ask permission from you.

Licensed Images

Make sure that your images or photos are licensed. Once your photos are licensed, you will find it easier to attach your name to all the images that appear on your blog. This will, hopefully, intimidate whoever is planning on stealing your photos.

Photo license is purchased, so be sure that you are prepared to spend some money.

Be Careful

Be extra careful when posting photos. Be observant, too. There are software and/or apps that you can use to monitor if someone is about to access your photos – whether on your blog or social media accounts.

Do not think that just because it hasn’t happened to you yet, it won’t happen to you anymore. The minute you post your photos online, you are inviting thieves. The best thing to do would be to exercise precaution and do everything that you can to protect your photos. Once the thief realizes that you know the procedure for copyrighting and keeping photos protected, he will hesitate and not push through with his plans.

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3 Smartphone Apps to Help You Create Beautiful Photos

Aside from being a useful device for communicating with friends and loved ones, the smartphone is also used to capture precious memories. Its camera, although not highly advanced like the DSLR, is able to take good photos. As such, most people now use their smartphone cameras to take photos during special occasions and even during events and other similar activities.

However, as the smartphone camera is quite limited in terms of features, most users are tempted to edit their photos using photo editing apps. These apps allow users to add filters, adjust the brightness and contrast, and add text to the photo. While there are numerous apps in the online market, there are three that have made quite a mark on users. These three apps are:

Snapseed

app1If you post a lot of photos on Instagram, chances are you already have the Snapseed app on your smartphone. Snapseed offers a lot of features that are not found in other photo editing apps. For example, aside from giving you unique filters to you, this Google photo sharing app will also allow you to adjust the filter. Thus, if you want to make your photo more dramatic or more vibrant, it will be easy to do so.

Additionally, Snapseed gives its users the freedom to edit just some parts of an image or photo courtesy of the Brush Tool.

VSCO Cam

3Another photo editing app that is a favorite of many Instagram users is VSCO Cam. Although some people that it is basically an upgraded version of Instagram’s photo editing features, VSCO is still popular because it is not only a photo editing app, it also allows its users to share their photos. Other users can follow you and vice versa. From time-to-time, there are even contests that you can join.

VSCO has editing features that are used to adjust white balance, shutter speed, and exposure, among others. And like Snapseed, it has several filters for users to choose from. Other features include tools for managing a photo’s brightness, sharpness, and tint.

Cell phones have changed photography forever: with the many enhancements developed for high quality cameras on the market, the unhindered touchscreen canvas has empowered engineers to provide applications that can alter pictures focal points and sensors, playing out an array of post-handling changes.

The only downside to VSCO Cam is that it can be quite difficult to use. So, you need to spend some time studying and practicing the features and the editing process.

Pixlr

app3If you want to play around and experiment with your photos creatively, Pixlr is the right photo editing tool for you. Aside from filters and the usual tools for controlling brightness, exposure, contrast, and sharpness, Pixlr also allows you to create a double exposure image. Simply add another photo to the one you are editing and Pixlr will automatically insert the second photo into the frame. You can then adjust the size and appearance of the second photo (soft light, overlay, lighten, and multiply, among others).

Likewise, Pixlr gives you the option to manually brighten or darken parts of your photo. You can also pixelate or blur the image.

With these three apps, your smartphone photos will be even more beautiful. So, when you post them on Instagram or Facebook, expect to gather a lot of likes.