Today is the last day of the month, and the second full moon of the month, which is called a Blue Moon. There have been a number of fancy moon images marking the occasion on the web, but I haven’t learned how to overlay images yet, so my Blue Moon is just the moon. I managed a fairly well-focused hand-held shot of the moon by setting my automatic digital camera on Twilight, and then I “cooled” the image to a nice blue using the “Cooler” tool in iPhoto Effects. I re-sized it and added the watermark using Photo Bucket. As always, the watermark will be removed for purchased prints.
Every day I cross the Clyde Wells Bridge over the Choctawhatchee Bay as I travel US 331 from my home to my office. Though I strive for present moment awareness, I often find I am focused on planning my workday, and I cross the bridge without even noticing whether the water is choppy or calm. But sometimes the view is so spectacular that I not only cannot ignore it, I am compelled to pull off the road and try to capture it with my camera. Sometimes I share the images on facebook. The mirrored image at right was especially popular with my friends.
The following series was on just such a day. The atmosphere near the ground was heavy, but backlit by the sun so that the mist created lighter values behind the successive layers of receding land masses. I have added some obnoxious watermarks to the downsized images posted here, but have preserved the originals in full resolution, without watermark, in case someone wants to purchase a print.
Most of my images are available for purchase. Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot
Most of my photography is composed in the viewfinder or on the LCD before I ever even shoot the picture, by where I position myself and how I frame the picture. Since most of my work is nature photography, rarely do I ever do much more in post processing than just crop and increase the brightness a little or saturate the colors just a bit. I am cautious not to alter the lighting or the color in an image very much for fear of making it look “wrong”. I don’t want the viewer to immediately describe the photograph as “Photoshopped.”
But there are many photography applications which anyone can use, and they are fun to play with. I use two on my iPhone, for fun and experimentation. One is called Value Viewer, and it is a useful tool for seeing a value study of a composition before shooting it or painting it. It also enables a lot of manipulation to create images that are strikingly different from the original. The image below, left, is a dramatic piece in 3 values. Beside it is the original rather non-descript photo of some random grasses beside the Bay. Unfortunately, for some viewing this post on their smart-phones, one of the images may be appearing sideways, which makes it difficult to compare the two. I don’t know how to correct that for phone viewing.
The image below left is enhanced using the iPhone app called Snapseed. The original shot is on the right. I sharpened it as far as the app would take it, and also increased the “drama” a little, to produce the image on the left.
In my last blog entry, I griped about people “borrowing” some of my images from facebook and uploading them as their own, so you will see that I am experimenting with watermarking my finished pieces that are posted here on my art blog. Should someone wish to purchase the image, the original of course does not have the watermark. I am using the iPhone app Impression for simple watermarking.
I know I really need to watermark my photography and art that I am posting on the internet, even including work posted here on my blog. I was reminded of that last week when graphic artist and printer Alison Bailey, of ABC Creations, warned us about internet theft of our art. She was the guest speaker at a Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County luncheon. She showed us the excellent quality of reproductions she was able to produce using images posted by local artists on their websites.
A myriad of software is available to create watermarks, and I have purchased several applications, including an app for my iPhone, called Impression. But I have been pretty lazy about watermarking, and have also become more prolific with uploading my photography, especially to Facebook. So as my work gets “borrowed”, I am starting to learn my lesson.
Facebook provides a “sharing” tool whereby you can re-post someone else’s image while still giving them credit for their original. And when you upload an image, Facebook asks you if the image belongs to you. When someone downloads an image and then re-uploads it as their own, they are going beyond bad manners — they actually are violating copyright law. All images remain the copyrighted property of the photographer, even if they are publicly displayed.
A watermark identifies my work as mine, via text written on the image, so that someone intent on “borrowing” it would have to do some editing in order to pass it off as their own. Some artists plaster their watermark right through the center of the image, but that completely ruins the image for ordinary viewing as far as I am concerned. I prefer a less obtrusive watermark on one of the corners of the image, even though it can more easily be edited out. As an example, my sunset image at upper left is watermarked on the lower right corner of the image. I don’t normally include the date or copyright symbol like I did here, but my practice of using one is still evolving.
Below you see an image I shot at a painting demonstration, which I posted on Facebook as a part of a series on the workshop. And below that you see my same image posted on a local merchant’s Facebook page, appearing to be the property of the local merchant, having been downloaded and re-uploaded without giving me credit. Facebook’s simple “share” function would have left my name attached, as it should be. It actually is a little more work to download and then re-upload a photo than it is to simply “share” it, so it is pretty obvious that it is intentional when someone does this. If I give an image away, that is my choice, but if someone “borrows” it without my permission, especially when they are using it to promote their merchandise, then it is theft. A merchant pays the photographer when photos are used for marketing purposes. Then the image belongs to the merchant. Without compensation, the photographer or artist’s name must remain associated with the photograph or art on Facebook, which by definition is a social (sharing) network. As a point of clarification, my website is not social media, so art and photography posted on my website is not permitted to be reproduced or re-posted without my express permission.
My name attached to my work is my own advertising. So yes, I am learning my lesson, that I need to watermark my photography.