Originally this was supposed to be a weaving post. But then I remembered that I promised to tell Trek how I put watermarks on my photos with the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). Being a visual person, I realized that I could do this easier with photos, hence a post appeared!
Including copyright information on your photos helps identify you as the owner. True, a copyright or watermark can be cropped off, or erased by someone with some skill with a photo editor. However, many thieves steal entire posts, photos and all. In these cases the copyright is left in tact and may be the only way to trace your material back to you. I learned this when I had my own blog content stolen.
The photo I'm using is what I had on the loom exactly one year ago. It is an advancing twill sampler, and will make a good example for this tutorial.
My instructions use the Linux version of GIMP, but you should be able to figure it out in the Win or Mac versions as well.
Simplest Way to Watermark a Photo
First open the photo in the GIMP. You can click on any photo in this post to enlarge it for a better view.
From the GIMP tool box, open the layers dialog box (file > dialogs > layers)
Select the text tool and click on your photo in the approximate spot you want your text to be.
Type your copyright message in the text box, don't close (yet).
In the GIMP tool box, click on the color bar (black by default) and a text color box will open.
Change color to white. If white isn't handy on your palette, type "ffffff" (6 f's) in the HTML notation box. (ffffff is the html code for the color white.) Click OK.
If you want, adjust size of font on the GIMP tool box.
You can change the font if you want, too.
Move the text box if you need to, by clicking the move icon in the GIMP tool box. The trick here is the cursor symbol when you hover over the text box. If it shows the move icon (big blue plus sign) and the hand, the entire photo will move. To move text box only, you have to get the cursor in a spot where only the move icon shows. Go to edit > undo, to correct move errors.
If you need to work with the text again, double click it to open the text editor again.
Now click on your layers dialog box.
Make sure your text layer is highlighted, and move the opacity slider until you get the look you want. Your photo will preview the changes for you.
When you're satisfied, save your image and it's ready to upload to your blog or website.
Getting a Little Fancier
You can also bump the image out to give it a 3-dimensional look. To do that follow all the steps above, but do the following before you save it.
First make sure that your text is selected in your layers dialog box.
Find the "Filters" menu at the top of your photo. Select Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur
Change the numbers to 0.5 for both. You can play with these and see if you like different numbers better. When you're satisfied with the preview, click OK.
Next, go to Filters > Maps > Bump Maps
Different tutorials suggest different numbers here, but I just use the default settings. Do make sure that the offsets (both X and Y) are zero, or our watermark will be off! Click OK
That's it! Anything you don't like can be undone (Edit > Undo). Of redone (Edit > Redo). Save your photo and it's ready to upload to the Internet.
Questions? Comments? Other suggestions? Let's hear 'em!
Posted 7 Jan. 2009 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
Update on Stolen Content (& a little more info)
A Note About Watermarks