Create a Watermark for your Photographs with this Photoshop Tutorial
Creating and placing a watermark on your photos is a way to deter others from stealing your photos and using them as your own. Watermarks are a bit of a distraction and aren’t 100% foolproof but they do let others know that it’s not okay to plagiarize your work to use them for themselves. For most photographers and artists, hours are spent getting that perfect photo and editing it to make it just right – it’s not cool when you see them being used on a website or products that aren’t your own. It makes you feel sick to your stomach.
So many people go to Google Images and just think that the images they find on search are fair game for the taking. Of course, they’re not. At least with adding a watermark, you can say you’ve done your due diligence and everything you could have done to prevent it.
Below is a step-by-step Photoshop tutorial on how I make a watermark for photos. I subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud service and for this tutorial I am using Photoshop CC 2015 on a Windows PC. The interface may look a bit different in your version of Photoshop.
Step One: Create a Watermark Design
Before we begin, you need to have previously created your watermark design. Somethings to know when creating your art includes:
- The background must be transparent.
- Everything must be on the same layer.
Below is what I have created for my watermark.
Step Two: Select All
From the Select Menu, Choose Select All. You should see dancing ants around your design now.
Step Three: Creating a Brush Watermark
Now it’s time to turn your design into a brush. Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset.
A box will pop-up to name your new brush watermark. Type a name and Click OK.
Step Four: Open Your Photograph
Open a photograph you would like to add your new watermark to by selecting File > Open. For this tutorial, I am using a TTV (through the viewfinder) photograph I took of some flowers.
Step Five: Select a Color
Select the color you would like your watermark. White is the most common color used. To select the color, click the foreground color square and select the color of your choice. I have selected white in the below image.
Step Six: Create a New Layer
Next, create a new layer on your image. From the Layers Menu, select a Create a New Layer icon.
Step Seven: Select Your Brush
Select the brush tool from the menu bar. You may have another tool showing on the menu bar. If so, left click and hold on the tool and a menu will fly out. From there, select the brush tool.
Left click the down arrow next to your selected brush on the secondary menu panel. A selection menu will pop up. Scroll down and select your new Watermark. It should be the last one on the list. Left click and select your watermark design.
Moving your mouse over your photograph, you can see how large your watermark is currently. From this same brush pop-up menu, you can resize your watermark. Click the small white triangle and slide it back and forth along the sizing bar to resize the watermark. Alternatively, if you have an exact measurement, it’s as easy as typing in your selected size.
Step Eight: Adding a Watermark
Applying your watermark is as easy as clicking once on your photograph. Be sure that the empty layer is selected from the layers panel. You can apply your watermark directly to the image without a new layer but if you want to make your watermark semi-transparent, it needs to be on its own layer. You can adjust the opacity of your brush tool before you apply the watermark but I prefer to do it from the layers panel so I can adjust depending on the photograph.
Now you can adjust the opacity. In the layers panel, click the down arrow next to Opacity and adjust to your desired level.
Step Nine: Resizing Your Watermark (Optional)
Below you can see another photograph with my watermark applied. It’s a bit small for this photograph. To resize, use Free Transform. Go to Edit > Free Transform (or ctrl-T in Windows/Cmd-T on Mac). Drag the corners to resize the watermark. To keep the same aspect ratio, hold shift while you drag the corner. Once resized to your liking, double click inside the box or click the check mark in the secondary horizontal menu.
The resized watermark is shown below. If you really want to protect your images, you can cover your entire photo.
Step Ten: Reuse the Watermark Easily
To reuse your watermark and apply quickly to a lot of photos, With your watermark layer selected in the layers panel, first Select > All. Then Edit > Copy. Move to your new photograph tab and go to Edit > Paste. From here, you can move your watermark to it’s new desired location.
This is by no means the only way to accomplish making a watermark in Photoshop. I just find this the easiest and literally takes minutes to create once you get the hang of it. Plus, the new brush is now saved in the brush panel for you to use at a later date.
I hope this helps someone out there. I would love to hear from you in the comments.