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Thread: Still thinking about a watermark photo signature

  1. #1
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Still thinking about a watermark photo signature

    I'm still fooling around with the idea of having some kind of a signature on a picture. I created a kind of stylized water lily (from this very image), then made it very small, with my initials on either side. If I put it on the picture and use one of the blending modes, I can make it barely visible on the picture. What do you think? It's still kind of crude if you look at it in large size, but small I don't think it looks too bad -- or does it?

    Still thinking about a watermark photo signature

    Still thinking about a watermark photo signature

  2. #2
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    And here's something I can't figure out. I'm trying to make the background transparent, but the minute I save it, the background turns white. What am I doing wrong here? I had the original picture and a white background, but I deleted those two layers after I made the drawing (you can see that in the history). Here's what the screen looks like before I flattened it:

    Still thinking about a watermark photo signature
    Last edited by mythlady; 4th February 2011 at 11:41 PM.

  3. #3
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Okay (talking away to myself, here) -- I think I got it to be transparent. Since it's so small that you really can't see it if the picture is 700 pixels, here it is in the corner of another pic, transparent. What do you think -- barely visible, right?

    Still thinking about a watermark photo signature

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    Boatman's Avatar
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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    I like it. Being transparent is much better. I would suggest that you don't make it too small and move it in from the edges enough that it won't be covered by a 1/4" matt overlap. What did you do to get it to be transparent?

  5. #5

    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Hi, Elyse! You're not talking to yourself - I'm listening! I just don't know what to say. That's better than the first one but, can you still blend it out more, if this is the way you want to go? I don't have much opinion - it's what you want to do that matters but, I don't know, the lines are too hard or something.

    I wish that I had taken that photo!

  6. #6
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Yes, I think I can blend it more -- and I'll try it out on an actual print to see how it looks. I made it a little more visible here so you could actually see it. Homer, I think what I did was merge the layers in a different way than I had before -- I'll have to go back and see if I can figure it out. I'm such a hit-and-miss kind of person with PS -- I'm getting more attentive about keeping track of what I've done, so I can go back and do it again! I can also go back and do the logo again, and try to make the lines thinner -- this was just a first attempt at the whole thing.

    I do want to stick with the water lily -- I think it's simple and recognizable (in terms of what it is). The guy in my camera club has this red chop with a Chinese character that looks nice, but it's definitely obtrusive -- I'm trying for something pretty subtle.

    I can also get a stamp made of it, and stamp the back of a print or framed photograph . . . I'm busy reading a book called Craft, Inc. about turning your hobby into a business, and she (Meg Mateo Ilasco) tells you to stamp hangtags or labels with your logo and so on. I had business cards made, with the water lily picture on one side and the information on the other. They came out really nicely.

    I'm doing all this because I have to take a couple of pieces over to the store where I'm going to be showing this summer, and leave them there on commission, so all of a sudden I'm thinking about the whole branding thing.
    Last edited by mythlady; 5th February 2011 at 01:21 AM.

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    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    and it is very exciting for us to watch along with you and I know be soon congratulating you on even greater success

  8. #8
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Oh, thanks, Kay -- really, the secret thing underlying this whole rigmarole is that I am dying to retire, and thinking about photography in my future is keeping me going for the last year-and-a-half --

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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    First, I want to say how much I love your pictures, especially the water lily. Beautiful texture. I can see why you chose it for your signature.

    Second.....
    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    -- I'll have to go back and see if I can figure it out. I'm such a hit-and-miss kind of person with PS -- I'm getting more attentive about keeping track of what I've done, so I can go back and do it again!
    It's so nice to know I'm not the only one who does this I have a pile of scraps of paper with notes to myself about steps I've taken, fonts and color codes I've used... I really need to start a notebook or file folder.

    Third....
    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    I'm doing all this because I have to take a couple of pieces over to the store where I'm going to be showing this summer, and leave them there on commission, so all of a sudden I'm thinking about the whole branding thing.
    Best wishes for success in your new endeavor. From the looks of it you will be successful.

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Oh, thanks, Kay -- really, the secret thing underlying this whole rigmarole is that I am dying to retire, and thinking about photography in my future is keeping me going for the last year-and-a-half --
    Oh do I know that feeling! Unfortunately, being a a mere youth, I have a few years to go yet. The offer that came out for early retirement packages as part of the massive savings that have to be made in public services was just not good enough for me to be able to go for. But if they were to come back with something just a bit higher?????

    As for the the subject of this thread - What you have now created is a refined, subtle and good-quality identity mark. I'm sure you'll already have thought through the whole thing about copyrighting it etc, if it's something you do go for.

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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Copyrighting is exceptionally simple and very inexpensive in the US. I was once in the T-Shirt screenprinting business...which was a nightmare in trying to preserve rights...and which after a while, I QUIT trying to accomplish. If it is merely an identification you want, then by all means. If it is proof of image ownership nailed to specific date, then the copyright is your option; however with the explicit understanding proving is one thing, getting it into court without costing you everything you own, quite another.
    I discovered quite early on, that if someone wants to steal your image identity, they wil do so and you are really quite powerless to stop them. Short of winning a National competition and having that as your provence, an argument can be made as to time, place and coincidence of imagery. This is especially true of the digital world where EVERYTHING can be manipulated including EXIF data.
    For everything you do to stop someone, there is someone else out there beating the system...generally ten somebodies and mostly, egotistically because they want to prove they can.

    I would encourage you to go for the identity mark and make it special and leave it at that..make it hard to copy, erase or otherwise, but keep reality in perspective. And just for the record, I spent upward of $100,000 in attorney fees DEFENDING my images from fraudulent users and recouped less than half before I let it go. Sometimes the worldis so much less pretty than we all attempt so show through our artistry. Sighhhhhhhhhhh.

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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    I want to add something but the stooopid program kept overwriting my words and I couldn't find the fixit tab.
    I made far more money than I lost because I learned to flood the market with an image, make the big bucks up front and move to a new image before the protitutes could get a leg up on an image. It was a "one step ahead," kind of business and so very tiring.
    I think we all have that "it's mine," mental-ness that pushes us sometimes to think we can really beat the system. And, in some cases, people do rise above the garbage and succeed...and in that, I would be the last person to discourage you from trying. I just want you and anyone else to know the sharks are out there and clever logos, stamps, designs, etc won't stop them...popularity in having a one of a kind piece from a favored artist is your best marketing ploy and let the sharks wallow in their own self-proclaimed mediocrity.
    Your imagery is quite unique and it will be hard for someone to extract and copy as long as you keep each image unique and hard to copy...I do wish you the absolute best but will still advise you to let it go when you must and live your life according to your set of values. Many good thoughts going your way.

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    benm's Avatar
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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatman View Post
    I like it. Being transparent is much better. I would suggest that you don't make it too small and move it in from the edges enough that it won't be covered by a 1/4" matt overlap. What did you do to get it to be transparent?
    Getting a transparent background is easy if you remember two things. First, the photo format has to be one that supports transparency such as tiff or png. JPG does not work! (Took me a while to figure that out). Second, the name of the layer cannot be called "background". To delete select the area(s) for deletion and press the Delete key. You should then see the gray and white check pattern.

  14. #14
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Thanks, Ben -- I'm actually taking a PS class right now, but so far it's mostly telling me alternative ways to do things I already know how to do.

    Donald, if they would come up with a retirement package, I'd be out the door tomorrow. I'm really a spring chicken, but a couple of years ago, I took some of my retirement money and bought several extra years of service credit so I could retire earlier at the same amount I would have at age 65 -- it was the best gift I ever gave myself, believe me. The 150 mile commute several times a week is sucking the life out of me.

    Lorieann, I've been keeping a Word document called "recipes" open while I work in PS, to record the sequence of textures I'm using -- sometimes it's six or seven different ones, and there's no way I can duplicate that again later. More recently I've been saving the layers as .psd files, before I flatten the image, and that will let me recapture what I did, too. But those files are very big, and I don't know how many I can save before it really starts crowding my laptop.

    Chris, I've never been one to get crazy about people stealing my work -- it's been up on flickr since day one, and though I try to look at the stats regularly and a couple of times have seen inappropriate use of my work (i.e., without credit to me), that pales against the good things I've gotten out of flickr -- two magazine publications, and various other kinds of things. I'm not going to be featuring the same image forever -- as soon as I take a new one I like, that's my favorite one (until I take another one). That said, I'm about to remove the images I really think will sell from flickr and put them on smugmug, with a signature or watermark or something like that. Still, somebody last week picked up my picture called "Imperfect" and used it on a blog, with a link back to my flickr page, and I got so many hits from that posting -- you never know what will happen. I don't think they would have reproduced the image on their blog if it had had a big fat watermark across it.

    Thanks for all the advice, everyone! I went garage sale-ing this morning, and came back with some great frames. At one place, there were two big bins, and when I had my arms loaded and said "How much for all these frames?" the woman said, $3.00. Yippee! I got two great leather frames that the cow picture will look wonderful in. I'm trying to collect different sizes, so someone can buy the cow picture in a 5 x 7 relatively inexpensively, but at the same time, I'm working on a bigger frame that looks like old barn wood and trying to find a little piece of barbed wire somewhere to enhance the frame . . . and for that one, I'm thinking $150. We'll see what the lady at the antique store thinks about what the traffic will bear.

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    Re: Still thinking about a signature --

    Elise, I'd love to see more of your work. How do I find your Flickr page?

    Too bad we live so far apart.... I could supply you with used barbed wire! Have rolls of it laying around. We're replacing our wire fence with pipe fencing. Let me know if you can't find any near you, how big a piece do you need?

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