Video – Watermarking your Photos

A few days ago I posed the question to our Photoshop Guys facebook page (click here if you want to join our page), to see what topics people were interested in. I got a lot of good responses so I thought I’d start picking away at them. This time I thought I’d cover watermarking your photos. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s more or less of a hack in Lightroom, as it’s not really meant for this. However, once you get it set up to watermark, Lightroom does offer a good quick alternative over using Photoshop, Batch Processing and Actions, etc… Hope you enjoy!

Click here to watch the video. (9MB)

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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58 Comments

  1. I’ll be the third to say LR Mogrify has solved my watermarking needs. You might want to do a review of this amazing plug-in.

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  2. Matt,

    Thanks for another great LRKT video. As to that “sticky” leash-thingy – it seems to have something to do with where the logo/watermark is positioned as it is applied to succeeding images that are oriented differently or of a different size.

    I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.

    Bill

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  3. It’s about time you post something! Just kidding. :-) Thanks for this. I’ll have to give it try. -John

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  4. Let me be the fourth one to shout “LR2Mogrify”. Watermarking and much more almost free (you can choose yourself how much to pay). I really don’t understand why LR2 has such a lousy built-in watermarking.

    Herwig

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  5. Matt, I used to do what you do for a living for another large software company and I love seeing what you come up with! Very few people come up with ideas that are outside the box (I used to get teased for doing this a ton!), but you do this consistently – finding ways to do things that may not have been intended, but still work really well. This was a great tutorial – I’m sure I’ll be using it from time to time and I really appreciate you sharing it!

    Thanks!
    Andi

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  6. The problem with Matt’s example is that it outputs the images as if they are slideshow frames instead of stand-alone jpeg images. The only real solutions right now are LR/Mogrify or OnOne Photoframe.

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  7. Isn’t the problem with LR2Mogrify that it requires another generation of the image. Essentially LR generates an image from the RAW+developing, which is then fed to mogrify, which then saves another version. I haven’t watched the video yet, but I’m assuming if done inside LR that you don’t lose a generation in this workflow. Now whether that extra generation perceptively degrades quality may be up for debate, but just saying…

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  8. Matt, thanks for sharing! Having people talk about LR2Mogrify plug-in made me think of a suggestion: How about a “Free LR2 Add-on Essentials” type post or video. I’ve looked around the Adobe Exchange, but I think having something where you kind of go through the “best” options would be so helpful. Maybe you could even do something like Terry White’s “iPhone app of the week” but for LR2. I know you’re crazy busy, so adding one more thing to your plate might not be realistic, but thought I’d at least try.

    Thanks,
    Mike

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  9. Hi Matt,

    I discovered this technique about a year ago and it seems to work well. As you stated, it’s kind of a hack.

    I also discovered that this technique works in the Print Module. Where you can create a jpeg output if desired. ( at least on a PC)

    For those interested, I explain how to add your signature to onto an image for printout on my blog- http://camerasview.com/archives/207

    Also under my blog Lr prests tab you will find other templates that I have made and use to simulate calendars and framing your image.

    As you and I discussed a while back, some people indicate that they have had issues with using the identity plate in this manner on Macs in the print module, yet you do not seem to have an issue in the web module.

    Do you know if the issue still exist with the print module on a Mac under Lr 2.0 ?

    Thanks for your continuing efforts

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  10. BayTaper, it is true that the exported files are edited and then re-saved in the process of applying the watermark, but if you export to TIFF then there is no loss of quality from repeat saves as that is not a lossy format.

    That said, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a perceptible difference between the export of a high quality JPG and a TIF after the watermark was applied in this manner.

    Granted, I don’t think anyone would disagree that native watermarking functionality in Lightroom would be a nice addition. :-)

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  11. I don’t think BayTaper is worried about loss of quality but loss of diskspace.

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  12. Ah, perhaps you are correct? Sorry if I read that the wrong way.

    Though, the disk space issue exists for saving JPGs from the Slideshow too. You are still making additional copies. In either case, depending upon the reason for watermarking there is no need to keep the copies on disk once you’ve either uploaded them to a web gallery or delivered them in some other fashion as you can always generate more from your source files if the need arose again. So, if disk space is an issue just deliver and then delete.

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  13. Hi Matt,

    You’re right that method you describe is a little clunky. I’ve tried Mogrify and agree with other comments here, it’s good. But the problem with it is that you have to resize it in the dialog box when you have different crops or chip sizes from different cameras. The other method which I now use all the time is the one given in the Under The Loupe feature in the September 2007 issue of Photoshop User. In one click all the selected images are exported to PS and an overlay placed flattened and then re-imported in to Lightroom as a an srgb image with the watermark.
    What’sthe advantage I hear you say. Well, when PS places an image it doesn’t matter how big the watermark is it centres it to the same size as the file irrespective of crop, size or shape of the image. Also as an import in to Lightroom, the srgb jpegs are already in a group for you in the Previous Import box. You simply click the Previous Import box and go to the Web module. This actually sounds more complicated than it is. Where it scores over Mogrify, is that using this system it’s all done automatically and you don’t have to do anything manually or leave Lightroom at all. With Mogrify the images are exported outside of Lightroom.
    When I first read the article I dismissed it as being very complicated. It will be for some, but the time I’ve saved and the speed in which I can get watermarked galleries of images of all shapes and sizes out there is very quick indeed.

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  14. My question is: Where can I find and action for photoshop CS3 to put my logo on to a bunch of photos. Something simple just in the corner. Dose any have any good direction on the?

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  15. Matt, what software do you use for your tutorials. I am particularly interested in your video screen capture. I’d like to do some tutorials for my real estate business. Thanks!

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  16. Nigel, I’m glad you found that article helpful. Props go back to Matt for inspiring it with his tutorial on creating a custom watermark in Photoshop.

    Casey, If you are a NAPP member you can find Matt’s watermark tutorial for Photoshop in the April/May 2007 issue of Photoshop User Magazine. He also did a video tutorial for the NAPP member website as a follow up to the magazine article.

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  17. Thank you so much for this timely post!!!! I was just trying to figure out how to put a watermark on my pics for Facebook and for my blog and I so appreciate the tutorial. You guys are awesome! Thanks for making things simple!

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  18. There is no excuse for Lightroom not doing this as good as the mogrify plugin. Professional Photographers have been watermarking images before the world went digital. I myself still have my old proof embosser. WHY DONT YOU WIPE THAT L OFF YOUR DEVELOPERS FOREHEADS AND GET IT ADOBE – THIS IS AN IMPORTANT FUNCTION FOR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS – admitting its clunky is kind of embarrasing for you as the software for photography dont you think?

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  19. I have a logo that was created with a white background and it makes it difficult to import into colored backgrounds. How do I remove the white background to make it more transparent to blend in with the background?

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  20. Hey guys i can’t find the “photoshop guys” page in facebook, any clue why??
    I got a problem with my lightroom’s editing brush. The editing button seems to disappear, and i can’t find it. So everytime i use it i have to make sure i don’t make any errors because i can’t correct them. Any clue why it happen? and how to make it work?

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  21. Ariette, you may have found the answer by now, but just in case you are still looking. Press H to show/hide the adjustment brush pin.

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  22. I have Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom 1.4.1. I am having problems with photos being stolen off my web site and used on Facebook pages. I use the Lightroom watermark on my photos when building the web pages in the web gallery module, however the watermark is small and in the bottom left of the photo. I’ve watched your video tutorial on enlarging watermarks using the slideshow module, but am not sure how that could translate into the web page module.

    Basically, is there a way to theft-proof my photos by either batch creating a larger watermark with the software I have, and is there a way to prevent people from being able to drag the proofs off my web site onto their desktops?

    Thanks.

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  23. p.s. — I use a Mac, and some of the other programs that would batch add copyright watermarks don’t sound like they are compatible with Mac’s.

    Laura

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  24. Watemarking with Lightroom, cant wait to try it, Thx!

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  25. Hey, thanks for the tutorial. But Adobe, WTF? Why is this function not available in Export? I’m not sure, but I believe that the majority of users don’t wish to create a weird slideshow within lightroom, or print photos themselves from lightroom. Anymore pretty much anything is digital and goes through digital formats before it is printed or edited or made into a slideshow.
    Why is this feature not included? I actually paid for this program, and you didn’t even add this one single little feature in Lightroom 2, after everyone wanting it in Lightroom 1?
    Sorry adobe, but you are suck so bad right now. It’s just like premier pro cs3 for mac. 24fps was basically disfunctional, and you never even bothered to fix that. The issue is solved if you import your video with imovie. imovie for crying out load….

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  26. I think you should look at Identity plate to water mark your photos in lightroom.

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  27. THANK YOU I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure how to get watermarks on exported images, instead of just on printed images. Now I get to finally go home and have a St. Patty’s Day beer.

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  28. Nigel, I’m glad you found that article helpful. Props go back to Matt for inspiring it with his tutorial on creating a custom watermark in Photoshop. film indir
    Casey, If you are a NAPP member you can find Matt’s watermark tutorial for Photoshop in the April/May 2007 issue of Photoshop User Magazine. He also did a video tutorial for the NAPP member website as a follow up to the magazine article.

    Post a Reply
  29. Hi Matt,

    I discovered this technique about a year ago and it seems to work well. As you stated, it’s kind of a hack.

    I also discovered that this technique works in the Print Module. Where you can create a jpeg output if desired. siki? videolar? ( at least on a PC)

    For those interested, I explain how to add your signature to onto an image for printout on my blog- http://camerasview.com/archives/207

    Also under my blog Lr prests tab you will find other templates that I have made and use to simulate calendars and framing your image.

    As you and I discussed a while back, some people indicate that they have had issues with using the identity plate in this manner on Macs in the print module, yet you do not seem to have an issue in the web module.

    Do you know if the issue still exist with the print module on a Mac under Lr 2.0 ?

    Thanks for your continuing efforts

    Post a Reply
  30. Ah, perhaps you are correct? Sorry if I read that the wrong way.

    Though, the disk space issue exists for saving JPGs from the Slideshow too. You are still making additional copies. siki? In either case, depending upon the reason for watermarking there is no need to keep the copies on disk once you’ve either uploaded them to a web gallery or delivered them in some other fashion as you can always generate more from your source files if the need arose again. So, if disk space is an issue just deliver and then delete.

    Post a Reply
  31. THANK YOU ALL,for the feed back.I myself have spent countless hours trying to figure this out.After thousands of photos,classes,c.d.s,and lots of reading i am at the level where its time to put a watermark on my photos for saftey.But once again I was up till midnight lastnight trying to figure this out.Well here we go,hope it finally workes.

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  32. Well, I’m in love! With Lightroom – and with this terrific tut! You can BET that when the trial period is up, I will CHEERFULLY pay for this program!!!

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  33. Hi,

    Well its an interesting and helpful way of doing it but for example if i want my logo as not a watermark, i want logo on every bottom right corner of the image to fit perfectly too ?
    I have been using BorderMaker for ever now and you can do borders with it with any information you want…or just noborter but add your own logo :)
    batch processing is lovely too.
    Its good to know how to do it in lightroom, but free program bordermaker works fenomenal for me :)

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  34. Hi Guys,

    Got a question as I’m new to this watermark business. I want to export around 300 monochrome photos (Jpeg) from LR2 with some form of watermark – this will be for publishers/archives to view the images on CD, and I don’t want to take any chances! Would you recommend the mogrify method?
    Eventually, I want to export the completed files as Tiffs with an embedded watermark/ident – would anyone suggest the most reliable method as I’ve heard Digimarc is worth considering?

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  35. Hi Guys,

    I look forward to Lightroom having a good customisable watermark function as part of export. I agree with comments above that this should have been part of Lightroom right from the start or at least in ver 2.

    I have tried to download LR Mogrify from Timothy Armes web site (www.timothyarmes.com) a number of time over the last week but the site seems to have vanished.

    Anybody know what has happened to the site or where else I can go to download the files ?

    Thanks

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  36. Hi all,
    I have spent the better part of 3 days on numerous forums trying to figure out this whole exporting out of slideshow from LR with the watermark. Wow – what disaster. I, like many others, are shocked at how time consuming this has all been. And this program was designed for photographers?!
    So, after purchasing LR I have to go and donate somewhere to get a plug in to get my photos to my blog with a watermark? I have a mac and I am finding it very difficult to get a clear cut answer on how to do this. I step by step of the easiest way for Mac users would be greatly appreciated so that I can get new photos onto my blog.
    Thanks!

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  37. We are creating proofs in Lightroom 2. We made a template to fit the price list we have printed and we want to put a watermark/identity plate on each of the images. The problem we are having is that you cant move the watermark around in the frame. You can center it or turn it 90 degrees or 180 but not up and down like you can in the slideshow module. the print module doesnt seem to have that capability and the watermark in our head and shoulders portrait go right across the mouth. Can you help?

    forever grateful for a fix

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  38. Love the watermark. The only problem is I don’t have an export JPEG option . It will only export as pdf. The place where you have “export Jpeg” I just have “add” and “remove”. On the right side of lightroom, I just have one export button and it will only let me export in pdf. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

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  39. First I want to thank you for Lightroom, i love it… so far all my learning has been seat of the pants, pushing levers, experimenting… but I am starting to need specific help on things.

    I have what may be a silly question, but my knowledge of computers has been based on what I have worked with and figured out… but for some reason I cannot find a way to PLAY your videos, perhaps I need some sort of plug in or something. SO far nothing I use (HP Quickplay, Windows media player for example) is even recognizing my download from your site…

    any advice?

    Thanks
    Darlisa

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  40. Tanya,

    You must be using Lightroom 1. The Export to JPG option in Slideshow is only in Lightroom 2.

    For those interested in giving LR2Mogrify a try I’ve a more in depth tutorial on how to use it a couple of different ways:

    http://x-equals.com/blog/?p=2825

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  41. Thank you for this helpful tip. I just started using Lightroom and this is such a useful feature despite the clunkiness.

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  42. Thanks, for the information. I spent a couple of hour last night trying get an output with watermarks. Like others, I would like a one-button solution.
    Keep up the good work. Maybe, Adobe should hire the guy or licensing it in a bundle (..S technique).

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  43. Video doesn’t really work. It stops all of a sudden. Or is it only me…?

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  44. photoshop lightroom 3 has watermark built-in, you can get it in beta and use it for free until next april 20th, 2010 from their site

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  45. Why is that the metadata is deleted upon exporting jpeg via slideshow? is there a way to avoid that?

    thanks!

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  46. I’m using the new Watermark feature and am having trouble with the watermark coming out all pixelated. Anyone else having this issue?

    I’m outputting images 250 pixels in size and my watermark is 900 pixels. I’ve tried larger watermark sizes and smaller all with the same result — a super pixelated watermark. The images themselves are perfect. It’s only the watermark that I’m having issues with.

    I’m creating the watermark in photoshop and then save-as to PNG format.

    Any thoughts?

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  47. hie
    i have watch your tips on lightroom its AWESOME ..just wanted to know that as you have putted watermaking on the slideshow . mine question was how to save the the pcis on normal way ( not on a slideshow) with watermaking
    help me out on this

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  48. I have been looking for hours, here is what I want to do.
    I want to create an embossed watermark in photoshop – transparent background – saved as a png

    SO THAT…

    I can use it in lightroom, upload it as a graphical watermark, and go to town.

    again…embossed, transparent background, simply made from my choice of text…to be saved as a png…then to be used in lightroom for batch watermarking.

    every photoshop tutorial I found wants to show me how to imprint a watermark directly onto a photo…NO

    every lightroom tutorial I found wants to show me how to make a plain text or graphic watermark that is simply a little more opaque than normal…NO

    I hope I’m being clear because this is frustrating and I need HELP.

    please and thank you.

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