watermarking images.

Posted by resonanteye on 06/05/2012

spider skeleton mount taxidermy artI’ve seen my work posted and reposted a lot online (it probably started in earnest, with my work, when this image was the main image on the wikipedia “tattoo” entry for almost a year) and I’ve never really thought about the amount of people who may be seeing it with no idea who made it.

A few things recently made me consider starting to watermark my stuff with this site’s address. First, I was looking at sketches done by some artists on a social network site I use, and found a sketch of my spider monkey mount’s skull and jaws. It was a great sketch, and I commented on it saying I loved that someone was using my work as inspiration. The artist blew it off, saying “Yes, I found this randomly online.” They had no idea they were talking to the creator of the work they were (tracing) drawing.
I explained that it was my work, she was excited to find out where it came from, we made friends.
It was a really good sketch.

Then, I found my spider skeletons posted to a russian site- and have no idea what on earth it says, whether it links back to me (update- it does) or not, and would love to comment but have no idea which buttons are for commenting or anything since I don’t read cyrilic.

Should I start watermarking things? I’d love it if every time my work was reposted or re-used, someone new came to see the rest of what I do, came here and maybe even said hi or spoke with me.
Having the site address on each photo is something I have alternately been too obstinate, or too lazy, to do. I don’t think even if I did this, that I would have the patience to go back and watermark all my older images (about twenty thousand images of my various works exist online) but maybe, going forward, I should make the effort.

What do you think?

8 Responses to “watermarking images.”

  1. ImagesByCW said

    Yes! You should definitely watermark. You have beautiful pictures and, at the very least, people should know who made them. It might not entirely keep people from stealing art, but it helps. I have mine as an action through photoshop, so its not really a lot of work. And I have been reading so much about stolen photos lately, it is not funny. People just don’t have a clue about copyrights. They think they found it on google or google images and so they can use it. Which, of course is wrong as we know, but to them it seems right. Sigh…


  2. Jim said

    You should watermark. And it shouldn’t be that much of a pain in the ass to do, either. I’m pretty sure most photo editing software will let you save your watermark as a template or whatever, then you can easily apply it to any image with the click of a button.


  3. haha totally!


  4. I think watermarking is a giant pain in the a$$. But I think you really should do it as well. Think of it as marketing? Or think of it as “Stop trying to pass my work off as yours &%$#$%”


  5. yeah james, I am not selling the small photos of my art (like a photographer), so people reposting or re-using has never occurred to me as a negative thing in my case. but lately I feel that a lot of the exposure I should be getting from those people who like my work and re-post it, is lost in translation.

    Honey, I’ve never really been for or against it, I dislike intrusive watermarks which obscure art or subject. But I am only just starting to think about applying them to my own work, because I feel like a lot of people may not be able to find me, to trace things back. And I could use the art sales, or at very least, the acknowledgment.


    • I am considering a “signature” integral with a translucent border which doesn’t much obscure the images yet makes it clear if you want a print you can get one from ME :)


  6. Honey said

    I’m pro-watermarking. That way people who would want to find you can find you.


  7. My newest digital camera just told me I have passed the 12,000 shutter closure mark. This is pertinent to the number of images I produce. I probably create and scan some several hundred film negative images annually as well. However, I believe I currently have some 750+ images online. I do my best to copyright many via US mail and a few sites free from creative commons or google and microsoft like you-dont-own-what-you-create-once-you-upload licenses. I rely on exif data embedded in the image to trace commercial thieves. I don’t care if people re-use for personal. But, now that you mentioned it, I have lost two images to jerks with lawyers and as my output continues the odds of it happening again and again increase so I think watermark + exif along WITH eventually only releasing my art through a domain I own is the only way. Self publishing with only one source to the internet and positive identification of original work. Bummer with this is not having multiple venues for display.


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