Watermark your pictures

There is so much image stealing happening over the internet these days. Everyday scores of my contacts on flickr report of image thefts. A couple of years ago, I was walking down my office corridor when I saw one of my pictures as the wallpaper on a colleague's computer. Since I did not know the lady I walked up to her and asked her how she got my picture, her answer surprised me; she was like "I got it as a forward this morning". I had seen only the tip of the iceberg, I began to wonder how many such pictures had been *forwarded*. After this incident I started added a small copyright message at the bottom of the picture. I thought I was safe. I did see pictures being forwarded even after that, but since they had my name on them, I took it as a publicity & didn't bother much about it. A friend of mine who had been doing the same (adding a copyright) for a while recently realized that his pictures had been *forwarded/stolen* with the copyright notice cropped off.

This is when I decided to start watermarking my pictures.

On the ramp...

Here are a few important points I'd like to make

  • Reduce resolution to max 72dpi (this is sufficient for onscreen viewing)
  • A size of 640X480 pixels is ideal for onscreen viewing. (800X600 is ok if you want to show them large)
  • Have a watermark across the image. rather than just a "(C)" include your name or website. It is important that the watermark is placed such that it is over the subject of the picture. You wouldn't want the stealer cropping the watermark and using your photo.
  • Incase you are making your own photogallery, I strongly recommend a flash based one rahter then a javascript or css based one. There are plenty of opensource galleries available in the internet.