Protect your online images

Embossed watermarking

The Internet has become the center for information, in just about every form. With the current popularity of Pinterest and the inevitable rise of other easy sharing sites, copyright and ownership of work is becoming harder to control than ever before. It is up to the individual to do whatever is possible to ensure the safety of posted work. One tool that can help with photos and art is using a watermark to copyright your work. Since it is becoming ever easier for anyone to copy your images online, branding your work will ensure your mark goes anywhere your images go. If you have a short website name use it as your watermark. It can make for a handy way to not only sign your work, but encourage people to visit your site.

You can draw any kind of label as a watermark, but I think the embossed look is most professional on photos and art work. Design your watermark and ‘emboss’ it onto your image quickly in Photoshop Elements. Although the steps may seem long at first, once you get used to it you can do the job in a minute or two.

  1. Open the image you want to watermark.
  2. Choose the color picker and set your colors for (H)0, (S)3 and (B)50% (or 60% for a darker contrast). You’ll get the same results by setting the numbers at either128, 124 and 124 or 153, 148 and 148.
  3. Select the ‘T’ on the tool icon bar for ‘Type’ and choose a clear, simple typeface that will be easy to read. I prefer Ariel.
  4. If you want to start with a copyright symbol press the ‘Alt’ key and hold it down while typing the numbers 0169 on the side keyboard.
  5. Create your watermark using letters, numbers and/or symbols.
  6. Use the second image box (looks something like this:â–º+) to change length and width and (placing the cursor in the center to create an arrow) to move your watermark. You should have a gray version of your watermark in place where you want it now.Illustration with basic typeCredit: Illustration by Jane Gates
  7. Go to the docking bar (I have mine across the top) and look for the long bar that has tabs inside. Choose ‘Layer Styles’.  ‘Simple Inner’ or ‘Inner Ridge’ gives a nice embossed look, the former being softer and the latter being crisper. In my sample here of the dog, the crisper image stands out better with the black and white illustration style.
  8. To finish, stay in the same bar and select the ‘Layers’ tab. Under the little search bar (usually set at the ‘normal’ default) you can find a listing for hard light. Once selected, your photo or art watermark is set in place and you only need to save your file.Watermark with bevel and setCredit: Illustration by Jane Gates

Use your watermarked image instead of unmarked images on the Internet so you can feel safe at least your name or brand will be included. You may not be able to assure your art or photo will always be used where and when you want it, but at least you will have identified it as yours. If you have a recent version of Photoshop Elements, you will be able to do batch watermarking under the ‘Process Multiple Files’ option under ‘File’.