Experimenting with Dynamic Watermarks

posted: Nov 03, 2018 by: baha

Ever since I've been involved in sharing photos on the internet, I've always found it interesting to see where the photos end up. One time, I even found my photos on another site where they happily took credit. I know I'm not the only one who experienced this and it didn't take long for photographers to begin adding watermarks to all of their photos before publishing on the internet.

I'm definitely not a professional photographer, but I do enjoy taking photos at automotive events from time to time. In the mid 2000s, I experimented in the online magazine concept and one of the most daunting tasks was after narrowing down the 1000s (exaggerating) of photos to the best 300, was adding watermarks. I was limited in my scripting knowledge at the time but I knew there had to be a way to automate it. In doing research I found my trusty Macromedia Fireworks had a batch processing feature. Ah ha! This was perfect. I can have my computer do all the work, while I play Halo 2 with my roommates and yell at the TV when I loose.

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I admit, as a young 20 something, I thought I was pretty clever. There were times where I would check out competing websites and break out in my evil laugh. I could tell that they were adding their watermarks by hand and spending a lot of time and energy doing so. This may have been clever and I did solve a problem with automation but I still had another problem.

What do I do if I change my logo?

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It didn't take me long to encounter this problem. To update the watermark, I just used my trusty Fireworks program and updated all of the watermarks in batches. Even with batching, this still took a lot of time. Now if only there was a way I could just update the designated watermark file, and my code can do all of the watermark updating for me automatically.

Well, this is exactly what I did. Watermarks not only make photos look cooler (as long as you have a cool logo), they are also an excellent marketing tool. People share your photo with the watermark and who ever comes across it can either look up your company or organization by name or even go straight to your website.

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For now, dynamic watermarks have been added to the Event Gallery but I'm interested to see if this is something you could use for your club, business or other organization. Just think, you could add photos to the ride page for your current project, and your photos will always have your current watermark added to them automatically!

One more thing to mention, if you haven't done so already, be sure to check out Minichick's coverage from SEMA 2018!

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