Watermark your images in Lightroom

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Many people want to put a graphic or text watermark on their images when they export them which can help cut down on unauthorized use of your images. With Lightroom 4, watermarking has finally grown up, pretty much copying feature for feature from LR2/Mogrify. LR2/Mogrify still wins if you need to add different borders around your image and even place watermarks in the logos, but most of us are going to be quite happy with the new built-in watermarking tool.

[AdsWithin]To use the new watermarking tool, simply go to the Export dialog box from clicking on the Export button in the Library module and go down to the Watermarks section or go to the Edit menu and select “Edit Watermarks”.

The image above shows the watermark selection and editor from within the Export dialog box. Once you select the Edit Watermarks, you will be taken to the Watermark Editor.

The Watermark editor will let you create text or graphical watermarks. I think most people will probably stick with the graphic one since the text version is a little limited.

watermarks3For graphical watermarks, you can use either a JPG or a PNG file. I recommend using a PNG so you can use transparencies instead of being stuck with a box shape for your logo. You can also set the opacity level (transparency) and determine the size within the image. I like using a proportional size of about 30% myself with a 2×2 Inset just to bring it away from the edges a little. Finally, you can select where on the screen you would like it to go.

The following image is an example of the type of output you can get using the new Lightroom 4 watermarking tool.

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While this new watermarking tool will mean a lot of people don’t need to go to third-party tools, it could still use a little improvement. My suggestions would include the following:

  • Allow for the use of Photoshop .PSD files
  • Provide multiple effects settings based on image orientation
  • Provide some basic border controls
  • Allow for custom rotation angles
  • Ability to use filenames as watermarks

Exporting Images

watermarks2Once you select Export there will be a section in the Export dialog box to select your existing watermarks or you can create a new one. One big advantage of setting up watermarks with Lightroom is that you only have to do it once and then you can select to use it or not. For my product photography clients, a large SAMPLE is printed on the low-resolution images which I then turn off when I export the final high-resolution files.

If you want watermarks and use Lightroom, this should pretty much solve your watermarking needs unless you want to add custom borders.

KerryG

Kerry Garrison is a wedding, portrait, and product photographer living in southern California. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 3 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms. Kerry's work can be found at http://kerrygarrison.com and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/KerryGarrison

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