Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

How to Copyright You Photo’s and other Images


A friend of mine who is a event and wedding decorator in Vancouver BC, asked me to show her how to copyright her work for her company R Squared Decor & Design.

This post should show you how the steps to watermark our images in an open source (free) graphic design program called  Gimp,  I hope other small organizations can use this method as a cheap alternative to copyrighting there images.

THE PROBLEM: Although the Internet is an amazing tool for sharing your work, it also means your work can be used against your will in all manner of ways, so a means to make sure your work remains yours is required. Here I’ll show you how to place a logo using a general method that works in all graphics programs but for this example I will be using Gimp.

Download Gimp (Free)

Step 1. Open your image in your graphics program and select the Text tool. Set the colour of the text to white and the size and font to anything you like. Now you are ready to add the text.

Step 2. Click in your image where you want your text to start. In GIMP check the box in the bottom left that says Use Selected Font, most programs don’t require this type of confirmation however. To add a Copyright sign in Windows we need to open the Start Menu, Accessories, System Tools, Character Map, or if you have Vista just type the charachter map in the  search bar and you’ll find it straight

away. Once the character map is open change the font in the top bar to the one you are using in your image editing program and then a few rows down in the main area of the window you should find the Copyright symbol. Left click it and it should enlarge then press Select and it will appear in the bottom text bar, then press Copyto place it on your clipboard

Step 3. Return to your image and the text box you opened. Then press Control and V to paste in your Copyright symbol. Type your choice of words afterwards and click OK/Close to insert your text.

Step 4. Press Shift and T to activate the transform tool and drag your writing to the size you would like it. You can now move your writing to wherever you’d like it on your image.

Step 5. Now open Filters, Distorts, Emboss and change the settings so that it appears as you’d like it to. The options in GIMP dictate the direction of the light source; Azimuth is the direction from which the light is illuminating the words, Elevation is the height of the light source around the text (imagine the sun in the sky as a rough analogy for these two controls) and the Depth determines the size and intensity of the shadows created.

Step 6. Now that you have embossed your image you can reduce the opacity until the writing no longer distracts from the image too much but at the same time still remains visible. The setting required, as well as the positioning of the writing will depend on each image but you will always be able to protect your images from theft by using this method. You can now look forward to a (hopefully) piracy-free future in photography, congratulations.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Photography | , , , , , , | Leave a comment