How Famous Images Look With Terrible Watermarks

Kip Praslowicz had an idea just a couple of days ago, how would memorable images look if they had used watermarks? Obviously, this was made to make fun of people who spend a lot of time making elaborate watermarks on their images. The results sparked a lot of commentary as well as thought. What's your opinion? Take a look and let us know. 

Praslowicz writes:

Idle thought today while at work was how it seems like many amateur photographs spend more time putting elaborate watermarks on their images than they do making images worth stealing. This led to a second thought that I don't really recall ever seeing the photographs of famous art photographers with a gaudy watermark.

Here are his results:









[Via Kip Praslowicz]

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Paul Monaghan's picture

I hate watermarks but have started to mark my own images due to people nicking them, sure its easy to remove and all that but it works and people have found me from stolen images.

Céline Broussard's picture

Same! I hate the way they look and the idea that comes across saying "oh i'm so important and professional" but last year my schools yearbook stole about 13 of my photo's and I wasn't credited once.....

 Thats when you send them a huge bill.
Or sue them..

Kyle Sanders's picture

If you are published in NatGeo you have the advantage of a) already being paid for that work, and b) you know you will be given proper credit. The positive side of watermarks for "us mere mortals" is that people can find who you are, even if someone posts your image on Facebook with no credit. That being said... if you are going that route, it should be done tastefully.

Adrian Robles's picture

Not even a NatGeo affiliation makes one immune to copyright infringement. Steve McCurry wrote a blog about this awhile back.

Jaron Schneider's picture

I love how Papyrus was one of the fonts used here, because even though I f**king hate it, this series would be incomplete and inaccurate without at least one photo with it splashed on there. 

Kyle Sanders's picture

Hey, it was good enough for the title font AND subtitles in Avatar. *rolls eyes*

Tess Leilani's picture

Yeah... obnoxious watermarks are annoying, but it's also a peeve of mine not to be credited.  I usually make my watermark small and opaque and put it off to the side; it's easy to crop out, and some people do, but most understand why it's there and keep it.

Tasteful watermarks have their place to help protect shareable images. The examples done here are just silly exaggerations to provide amusement, and aren't really worth a lot of serious commentary.

Stephen Sullivan's picture

Some people may spend loads of time adding watermarks, but the smart people just make actions.

If you know what you're doing, it's much better to embed an invisible digital watermark. They survive fairly severe cropping, and multiple forms of processing, and since most people don't know they're there don't even remove them and are easily caught red handed.

Jacques's picture

 How does one embed an invisible watermark?

Carbon 43's picture

Well, one easy way is to simply write it to Camera metadata, but there are more complex methods that involve writing it invisibly into image data.

Marios Forsos's picture

While I get the point, people should remember that once upon a time, McCurry's image was extremely difficult to steal and misappropriate for commercial and other reasons simply because it was largely available in print and you'd need to scan a copy.  Same with many of the other images here.  Now, once an image is up on the web, chances are that within a day, it will have been copied and reused without permission over a thousand times... situations change and photographers, along with our perception of what is fair, have to change with them, otherwise...

MahonriM's picture

Nothing wrong with the watermarks. Honest user will contact and pay licensing fees and use them without the marks. Thieves are the only ones who need to worry. Only trouble is we don't have public hangings for art and copyright thieves.

rj's picture

Watermarks should be used like salt... sometimes they need it, sometimes they don't. Subtle is key in my book... if anything to help reinforce branding, like an artist's signature. But keeping it SUBTLE is key.

Robert Lowdon's picture

The Steve McCurry one is amazing. The cheesy lens flare just takes it to the next level.

Kevyn Fairchild's picture

This is from almost seven years ago, but the Joel-Peter Witkin is giving me life...