Best Use of Watermark in a Photograph


If you’ve read my blog in the past then you probably know how I feel about watermarks. If you haven’t this past blog post explains why a registered copyright is really the only protection you have against someone stealing your image. Scroll down for the part about watermarking.

Bottom line is that I think it’s distracting and detracts from the image. You don’t want the viewer’s eye wandering around your image. They should focus on the subject. Moreover, any 12 year old with decent Photoshop skills can remove your watermark. Finally, as stated earlier, your watermark doesn’t mean squat in a court of law. These sentiments were reinforced to me recently in an episode of D-Town TV with Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski. In the epsiode, they go over how to easily add a watermark in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.0. Fastforward to about 4:45 and Scott, with tounge in cheek, explains why he wants someone to steal his image.

Recently, however, I ran across one photographer who makes clever use of his watermarks. Zack Arias is an Atlanta based photographer. He is pretty well known across the country, not just for his work, but for his willingness to teach others.

Check out this post  on his blog and see if you can spot the word “usedfilm” in the images. (While you’re there, get schooled on some lighting.)

Then check out this post. Again, look for the “usedfilm” watermark.  Now look at the second to last picture; the one with the band standing in a field. See the bird in the sky? Watermark.  You can see it again in the last image on the guitar case.

I think this is a very subtle and creative use of a watermark. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not. It’s not always in the same place and it blends in nicely…you have to look for it! If you saw only one of those images, you might think that the words were really on the guitar case or guitar strap. It’s also not placed somewhere where it can be cropped out without losing an important part of the image.

So as much as I don’t like watermarks, this takes the cake for the best use of one.


I Found 4-Million Dollars at the End of a Rainbow!

So I was driving home from the gym the other day and I saw a rainbow in the sky (albeit a faint one).  I remember reading in a Scott Kelby book or blog that to really get a good rainbow shot it has to be in the context of something visual…think, a rainbow over the Eiffel Tower or some stunning landscape. Don’t just shoot the rainbow. Shoot it in relation to something interesting.  So I followed it as I drove into my community looking for something to include with my rainbow. 

A Rainbow over the Tradewinds House

Click for Larger Image

It led me to a house I’d been wanting to photograph for some time. It’s called the “Tradewinds” house in Baldwin Park, Florida and it’s been on the market for as long as I’ve lived here. It started at close to 5-million. Now it’s a steal at around $3.9 million! 


Just goes to show there really is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.