Every photographer in the World wants complete control over their images, especially when it comes to posting them up online. Once you post a photo, graphic, or image on a website, or on a social media platform you have essentially just lost the ability to control them. Images are amongst the biggest media type to suffer from illicit use, and in 2018 images can be re-shared hundreds, if not thousands of times.
So, the ultimate question is ‘how can we better control what we share?’. The simple answer is to digitally watermark your photos before they hit the internet. The additional benefit of doing this, is the fact that you are essentially signing that piece of work with your logo, or your name, so if that image does get shared thousands of times across the world you are marketing yourself without knowing it!
How Do They Work?
Visual Watermark in Action
Let’s start off by looking at the desktop app, Visual Watermark. Firstly, you will need to download the software to your Windows or Mac device to begin the install. The software weighs in at just under 50mb so it’s not a heavy download, and the actual install is less than 10 seconds long.
Once installed you can open the program and then drag the required photos in that you want to watermark. On the next screen (the personalisation template screen) you can then add either text or logo watermark. If you select text you can alter the font, the colour, the size, the transparency and add some effects. Once you are happy you can then move to the final screen which offers you a final couple of options, from the image format and quality, auto-scaling, and even image resizing features. After you have set everything you need to, you can preview the image before you go on to save the image to your computer.
On the trial version you will also get an additional watermark from the company, so it is worth taking that into account. However, the pricing structure is decent and they offer the program at a starting price of £16.95 one-off payment, rising to £32.95 for a premium user.
Watermarkly in Action
Flicking our attention across to the browser based app now, Watermarkly.
With this app you don’t need to download or install anything as it’s all based in your browser, so you simply type in the website address and off you go.
To begin using the app just look for the red button that says “Run Watermarkly”, this will take you straight to the screen where you can upload or import your images. You can choose to upload from your computer at this point, or import from the likes of Dropbox or Google Drive.
The next step works in a similar fashion to the desktop app, where you can add the images and then move to the next screen of adding text or a logo watermark to your images, with the same set of features.
Once you have added your logo or text, the final screen differs slightly to the desktop app and you will get a pop-up box with two choices, and these are the quality of the image (medium, good, superb, maximum), and whether you want the image resizing.
You can then preview how the image will look before you download it. Again, in the free trial version you will get a ‘Protected by Watermarkly’ logo on your images.
The Benefits of the Desktop App
To begin with the desktop app downloads and installs very quickly, and you can have a watermarked image within 60 seconds from download to output – talk about fast. It’s also very convenient to have on your desktop, it’s easy to use, and you can bulk watermark up to 50,000 images with ease. The other big benefit is that the program isn’t expensive, as stated above you can pay a one-time fee of less than £20 to get the program for personal use.
The Benefits of the Native App
Despite being a browser based app, there isn’t a queue to watermark your images so you don’t need to be waiting around (even on the free plan). The app can also process a number of photos at once, and scale the watermark to fit the size of the image for you. The price of the paid version is also attractive, with a one-time fee of £16.95 for the basic plan and £32.95 for the top end plan.
Our Final Thoughts
Both apps have several benefits and it comes down realistically to the amount of photos you are going to be watermarking, and where your photos are based (online of offline). If you want to watermark images on the move (i.e, you are going to be using different computers), then the browser based version if going to be the one you need.
However, if you only use one computer and have thousands of images stored locally then the desktop app would be a suitable choice.