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It's a sad state of affairs when you need to start being concerned about image copyrights for simple little photos that you post online. Ever since I've had a website, I've had an online photo gallery. It has morphed over the years as the number and quality of the pictures I've put up online has grown. I'll never claim to be a great photographer, but ever now and again I manage to capture what I think is a really great shot.

Between the magic of Google and my own web logs, I've managed to find some of my pictures turn up in unique places. In most cases people have just been linking back to my site. While that does increase my bandwidth usage, it at least gives someone a way to find out where the picture came from. The really considerate people usually even ask if they can use an first. However, it now seems that not everyone wants to play nice, which of course leaves me with a few choices:

  • Remove my pictures from the web

  • Limit access

  • Watermark

Given that a big catalyst of the web was to share information I hate to remove them. Limiting access prevents the randomness of people I've met in the past stumbling on them and sending me a message. Watermarking it is then. Thankfully Gallery now has built in support for this. For anyone looking for an online photo maintenance program, Gallery rocks. The newer versions are just packed with options and it just keeps getting better.

Creating a decent watermark ended up being a lot harder than I had hoped it would be, especially since I needed a visible watermark. As always a little searching on the web produced some great samples and a couple of howtos that let me piece together something reasonable. A couple of things that took me a little while to figure out was the need to export the watermark as a png-24 and that to make it look decent you really need ones sized appropriately for the image being watermarked. Having a horizontal and a vertical image also helps.


Though you should mention that the watermark is edited onto the image and you can't remove it, so 1) decide if you really want a watermark and 2) test it on a few images before your entire photo collection. otherwise you might have to have a super friend restore everything from backups. :)

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