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Old 02-23-2007, 03:38 PM
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bstreeck bstreeck is offline
TE Newbie
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 51
Default Re: How to watermark your images- tips for new TE users

Hi Kristi,

To a point... yes. Everyone is free to decide to watermark or not to watermark. But just as you are encouraging people to do so, I am encouraging people not to do so. I feel it is ugly and unnecessary, and unless I see a true need for a watermark (that absolutely unique and amazing picture that cannot really be found here on TE or most other places on the web), such images are downrated in my mind and thus most likely in my comment/critique. In fact, I like the fact that here at TE only very seldom do you see a watermark on a picture.

I am really not sure if you are aware of how easy it is to remove such a watermark. The reason I'm pushing this aspect, is because it gives your bike-lock-analogy a new twist: An image with a watermark is like a 50 dollar bike in a 10 yard high voltage perimeter fence with a sign over the switch "Turn off here!". It just hurts everybody who touches the fence just wanting to go by, just like it destroys my ability to appreciate your photography, while the thief goes to the switch and turns it off, taking (a copy of) your bike.

I may be wrong on the following in your specific case, but there is another reason for the advocation of watermarks by some.

Professional photographers and stock photography organizations live from selling their pictures. At least here in Germany, professional photographers have admitted to suffering competition from internet stock-for-free-or-little-money amateurs. This has gone so far, that photographers here lobbied for a law, forbidding the selling of photographs if you are not a member of the photographers organization. It never passed the level of a mere suggestion, but just the fact that they were testing the waters on this, shows how worried they are.

Someone on vacation, who took a picture that just happened to turn out really good, is of huge concern for someone who spent 3000 dollars traveling into the Caribbean, lugged a lot of professional equipment there and paid the stock-photo company to sell his pictures. And for that travel website, that amateur picture might work out just as well as the professional one, and can be (legally) had for the cost of an email or at most 50 dollars or so, while the stock-photo market wants 400 for one time usage rights and can't deliver a picture with a palm tree just in that position the half-web-designer half-travel-agent wants.

By encouraging amateurs, who actually have nothing to loose (hence, a copy of the bike), to be aware of someone stealing their rights and creating the mentality, that one should not sell ones "work" too cheaply, you are of course pushing the travel agent back into the hands of the professional. This could be the mentality that prompted, or at least promotes, the paranoid call for watermarks on all TE pictures.

For the record, if any travel agent ever wants to use one of my pictures for their website (which I highly doubt): just drop me a mail and we will find a very very cheap solution for you!
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