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Tutorial: How to Add a Watermark on a Photo using Adobe Photoshop

Tech2 min read

12 February 2012

Since a couple of friends have asked how I add watermarks to my photos, I thought I'd share this tutorial.

A watermark is a layer of text or symbol digitally stamped on an online photo, like a signature.

I'm using Adobe Photoshop 6.0 in this tutorial. I know it's ancient by today's standards, but hey, it does what I need and much more. So, why upgrade? This is also a very manual process as I want control over where the watermark is placed on each photo. Automatic batch software places the watermark in the same location, sometimes affecting the visual content of the photo.

Step 1: Select Show Layers under the Window tab Step 2: File > New. Set Width and Height to 400 pixels and 50 pixels. Select the Transparent radio button in the Contents box. Give the new file a name as this will be your original watermark file (save in .psd) and click OK. I'm working with photos that are resized to 1600 pixels, so adjust the size of your watermark according to your photo's size.

Step 3: Select the Type Tool and type in your watermark, like your website address. To get a copyright symbol, you can copy this one: ©, or insert it from MS Word (Insert > Symbol).

Step 4: Highlight the text of your watermark and change the text color to all white (#FFFFFF).

Step 5: In the Layers window (bottom-right), set the opacity of your watermark layer to 25%. This will give it that transparent look and reduce its visual impact.

Step 6: Open the photo you want to watermark.

Step 7: Adjust the window sizes so that you can see both windows. Select the Move Tool on the toolbar, click on your watermark and drag it onto the photo. Now position the watermark on your photo. I like to place it so that the photo's visual content isn't affected much. If you have a high value photo, then feel free to make the watermark as big as you please.

Step 8: Depending on the background colors, I adjust the opacity of the watermark. Being a dark background, I adjusted the opacity here to 10%.

That's it. Click save. Either save it as a new file or overwrite your resized image.

Tip: I also create a second watermark file and leave that text as all black (#000000), as on some backgrounds, that will blend better.

Let me know if anything's not clear.

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Jammin thru the Global South was the 3+ year, 100,000+ km ride Jay did from the US to India via Latin America, Europe and Africa. Explore the photojournals at the Journey Posts tab.

Jammin Global Adventures is a tour company run by Jay Kannaiyan. He organizes small group, premium motorcycle adventures in Peru, Kenya, Mongolia, India and more.

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