Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a watermark, part of Lightroom 5: 03 Basics of Image Sharing.
Applying a visible watermark to an image accomplishes a couple of potential goals. First off, it identifies that image in a somewhat obvious way as belonging to you or having been created by you. In other words, it helps to discourage others from stealing that image and using it without your permission. In addition, a visible watermark can serve as a little bit of a promotional tool. If somebody sees an image of yours that they like, and they see that there's a watermark, they'll know who took the image. And you could even include a website address for example, so that they can learn more about you and your photography.
Let's take a look at how we can create a watermark in Lightroom that can then be used in a variety of different ways when we're sharing our images. I'll start off by going up to the Menu bar. And on the Macintosh version of Lightroom, I'll choose the Lightroom menu. On the Windows version this would be on the Edit menu. And then I'll choose Edit Watermarks. That will bring up the Watermark Editor dialog where I can specify the particular settings for my watermark. To begin with, we can have either a text watermark or a graphic watermark.
We can choose the watermark style here at the top right. We can also choose a specific image if we'd like to use the graphic option. This is helpful in that you could, for example, use your company logo as the watermark that you're going to include on your images. The problem is that when you share your images from Lightroom, you're likely to share those images in a variety of different ways, and therefore, in a variety of different sizes. An image shared online, for example, will be much smaller than an image that is printed.
And so it's difficult to have a graphic that will actually work well across a wide variety of sharing methods. In other words, the quality of that graphic watermark may not appear all that great. And so in general, I recommend utilizing a text watermark. We can then enter the text down below the image toward the bottom left of the Watermark editor, so that we can specify what text we'd actually like to have appear on our images when we watermark them. If you'd like to add the copyright symbol, on the Windows platform you can hold the Alt key and then on the numeric key pad press 0169 as you're holding the Alt key.
After typing that sequence of four digits, you can release the Alt key and that copyright symbol will appear. On the Macintosh platform, you can hold the Option key and then press the letter G on the keyboard in order to add the copyright symbol. But in this case, I think I'll simply put my website address as the watermark, and so I'll go ahead and type that website address. And you can see that that appears in preview form on the currently selected image within the Watermark Editor.
Next of course, I can adjust the overall settings for my watermark. I'll start off with Text options. I can change the font to a different font if I'd like to. I'll go ahead and chose a Typewriter font, for example, and perhaps change the style to Bold. I can also adjust the alignment left, center or right align and I can chose a particular color that I would like to use for that watermark. In this case, I'll just stick with the white color that is the current default but as you can see you can choose any color of the rainbow for your watermark.
You can also specify whether you want to include a drop shadow. And generally speaking, while I'm not necessarily a big fan of a drop shadow, this can be very effective in terms of making sure that your watermark remains visible regardless of the background color in the photo. In other words, it will help ensure that your watermark works equally well across light versus dark areas in an image. So in the case of a watermark I actually recommend turning on the shadow. So you can turn on the check box for shadow and then adjust the overall settings.
The Opacity slider, of course, allows you to adjust the opacity of that drop shadow, in other words, how strong the shadow is. You can adjust the offset to determine how far away from the text the shadow should appear. The radius adjusts the overall size of that drop shadow, and the angle determines the angle at which that shadow is cast. Next you'll see that we have some watermark effects beginning with opacity. And this allows us to adjust the overall opacity of our watermark. Generally speaking, I like to use a relatively low setting for opacity so that the watermark is not too glaring.
In other words, if someone wants to know who captured the image, or how to learn more, I want them to be able to find that information, but I don't want the watermark to overpower the image. We can also adjust the Size setting. The Fit option will cause the watermark to fit the available space within the image. The Fill option will cause the watermark to fill all of the available space, which, as you can see, will often cause the watermark to be partially obscured. In most cases,though, I'll utilize the Proportional option and then adjust the overall size for that watermark.
In this case, I'll use a relatively small setting for that proportional size, so that the overall watermark is not too glaring within the image. Scrolling down a little bit more we'll find the Inset options. I can increase or decrease the inset, adjusting the position of the watermark relative to the edge of the photo. So in this case, I have the watermark anchored at the bottom left corner, so if I drag the horizontal slider to the right, the watermark will be inset over toward the right from that bottom left edge.
And if I drag that horizontal slider to the left, you'll see that the watermark extends outside the actual image area. I'll go ahead and adjust the horizontal inset so that the watermark is not right up against the edge of the image. I can also, of course, adjust the vertical inset, but in this case I think the default value of zero works perfectly well for that vertical setting. And then finally, I can adjust the overall position of that watermark. I can change which corner of the image, or even the side or the center of the image is going to be used for an anchor for that watermark.
Generally speaking, I'll use either the bottom left or bottom right corner. In this case, I think I'll place the watermark in the bottom right corner. Note by the way, that I can also click the buttons to rotate that watermark if I'd like it to appear in a different orientation. Once you've established your desired settings for the watermark, you can click the Save button in order to actually save that watermark as a preset. In this case, I haven't specified a name for that preset, so I'll just go ahead and type TimGrey.com as the preset name so that when I'm choosing this particular watermark from a pop up menu, I'll know exactly what I'm going to end up with.
I'll go ahead and click the Create button. So now that watermark has been created based on the settings I specified, and I can now use that watermark in a variety of different ways when I'm sharing my images in Lightroom.
This course was created by Tim Grey. We're honored to host this training in our library. Watch more courses in this series here.
Skill Level Beginner
Q: When I access the Identity Plate Editor dialog, I get a message in that dialog that says "No options for Lightroom identity plate." This is different from what I see in the lesson on modifying the identity plate. How do I resolve this issue?
A: The difference you are seeing relates to changes Adobe made in version 5.4 for Lightroom, related to support for the new Lightroom Mobile application. The new "Lightroom" option for the Identity Plate popup enables access to the sign-in and synchronization for Lightroom Mobile. To personalize the identity plate you can choose the "Personalized" option from the Identity Plate popup, which will reveal the set of controls for changing the identity plate.