On the fence about watermarking

Started 7 months ago | Questions thread
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jbarton
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On the fence about watermarking
7 months ago

If this topic has been completely over-discussed, let me know. I find the search option a little fiddly.

I've never watermarked any of my photos I've shared online (I use flickr). On a whim the other day, thinking of whether or not I should start watermarking, I used google's reverse image search on some of my more popular photos. Sure enough, one photo has been shared around a bit, however, it was changed to black and white and shared without credit. It's in a few places, not under anyones name, so I don't know who it was that edited it.

Of course in this case, if someone went to the trouble of editing my photo, they could have just as easily edited out a watermark. But either way, it got me thinking about any other case where someone could share an untampered original of mine (not edit it an any way) and not provide credit.

Firstly, by watermark I mean something small and tasteful. I know I can't stop thieves, but in a scenario where someone shares without credit, a watermark could suffice to let people know who the photographer is.

BUT... I've always found watermarks very distracting (and possibly arrogant [as I've read online]), and they point out the flatness of a computer screen when images are meant to create depth (in most cases).

So I'm back and forth. I could list all my pros and cons but I'm not sure if that's necessary. I would just like to know why you do or do not choose to watermark? What particular benefit swayed your decision either way?

If you're interested:

Here is the original photo of mine: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonbarton/8534732775/

And here is a site that embedded the edited version: http://www.murraymitchell.com/2013/11/ink-suspended-in-water/

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Jon Barton

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