A funny thing happened on the road to the information superhighway. Information became abundant, cheap, and devalued. Both original content and photographs became easier to steal from one website and post to another website, further devaluing content.
Here’s a way to slow down the photo thieves, and it uses an age-old method adopted for the modern digital age. Watermarks. That’s right. Watermarks.
A watermark is an identifying image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light (or when viewed by reflected light, atop a dark background), caused by thickness or density variations in the paper. Watermarks have been used on postage stamps, currency, and other government documents to discourage counterfeiting.
Modern technology makes it easier for thieves to abscond with photos and use them wherever they choose, but a digital watermark makes the photo a little less valuable to those who don’t take copyrights seriously.
The Mac watermark app I’ve been using this past year is called PhotoBulk; a name which implies an option to place watermarks on multiple photos in batch mode. To use PhotoBulk is to love it, whether you upload your personal photos to an online gallery, or Facebook, or Instagram, or Flickr. Your photos are fair game for thieves but an appropriately placed watermark acts as a good deterrent to copyright infringement by leaving a visible copyright for all to see.
Start adding a watermark by drag and drop, either a photo, multiple photos, or a folder of photos. PhotoBulk’s tools are so Mac-like you’d think ex-Apple engineers had a hand in the development.
PhotoBulk makes easy a rather complicated process and the tools are almost self-explanatory. Select the text styles you want for the watermark, including type style and font size. Set opacity and total width, and there’s even an option to adjust prefix or suffix and rename the file.
After that it’s easy to place the watermark on the photo exactly where you want it to be displayed; subtle and inviting, or in-your-face obtrusive. Click Start and your watermark is applied to a photo or a whole batch of photos, hundreds at a time if you wish.
There’s a reason PhotoBulk gets so many four and five star reviews. It works quickly, easily, without fuss and little effort to generate a classy, elegantly style, embedded watermark on photos you intend to post online.
PhotoBulk will optimize images, as .JPG or .PNG, and give you the option to automatically insert the watermark based upon the size and dimensions of the photo. Preview is fully real time so you see exactly how the watermark will look on a given photo without making it permanent.
Any caveats? Not many, but a few. PhotoBulk doesn’t cost much and seems to work perfectly. The developer wisely makes a non-Mac App Store try-before-you-buy option available. That said, the Mac App Store version has not been updated in almost two years, and with the growing rate of abandonware of applications, that bothers me.