Friday, July 11, 2014

How to Watermark Your Photos

It's always nice to be able to give up the day job.

One of our nieces has been working ardently towards that end, following a recent passion for photography outside of her regular banking hours. Recognizing how difficult it can be, she has pulled out all the stops, investing time and finances to better potential.  From renting studio space to self-promoting egregiously, she has built a loyal clientele while encouraging new customers. No stone is left unturned, in ensuring that she is operating with success the only goal.

Except for one small detail. Though impressed by, and in agreement with, the majority of business decisions she has made, there is one that I question. Rather than producing photos for clients with a watermark she hands over a disc of pictures to them to be shared in whatever manner they choose.  Not only does this mean she gets no extra income from prints, but her work is not identified other than by word of mouth, and there is no protection against others using it. 

Of course, there is always an argument on the other side of any topic. Some feel watermarking actually decreases exposure for the photographer as their work is less likely to be shared across the web. As well, everyone knows that a thief with the right software can make short work of any watermark you place. 

But, for those like me, who still think it's in the best interest of the person taking the photo to stake a claim on it, a watermark, albeit one that's subtle and classic to my way of thinking,  is comfort. It's all about putting your stamp on your product.

If you agree, but aren't sure how to get started, there is no end to the tips available online. Here are a sampling of just some of the terrific tutorials  I found using a variety of programs and tools:

How to Watermark Your Photos

Add a Watermark to Your Digital Photos

Add a Watermark in Photoshop Elements

Online Watermark Tool

3 Ways to Add a Watermark to Your Photos

Create a Watermark from a Picture

How to Make a Watermark

How to Watermark Batches of Images Free

How to Batch Watermark

Batch Watermark Software for Windows

Batch Watermark Photos Online

Add Permanant Watermarks

Add Watermark to Photos With BP Watemaker

Quick Tip Automated Watermaking of Photos

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tips to Capture Summer Moments

One of the great things about summer is how it pulls people outside.

No matter what your interest or energy level it's pretty darn difficult to sit inside when the sun soothes and the birds sing.  Some eagerly take advantage of the seasonable temperatures to get active, whether it's involvement in sports or more leisurely pursuits such as gardening, but warm weather is often capable of beckoning even the reluctant outside too.

Though there's nothing I enjoy more than a long walk on a summer's day, and do take some pleasure in digging in the dirt, generally my hedonistic nature is more conducive to a quiet sit in the shade with a tasty glass of wine and a deliciously entertaining read.  However, the blossoming gardens and colourful creatures that come to visit them inspire me to rise on occasion, camera in hand, to try and preserve that beauty for posterity.

This sporadic interest, though, means that the results are often hit and miss. While the eye is good, the knowledge of what my camera can actually do is limited.  A friend of mine, on the other hand, has developed a keen interest in photography, proven by the fact that not a day goes by when her camera is not in hand. If practice makes perfect she's on her way. Indeed, the recent images she grabbed of a hummingbird are among the best I've ever seen.

Her success inspired me somewhat, and I think this weekend it's time for a bit of practising myself. For this outing I sought some inspiration. These sites offer tips and ideas specifically for summer photography:

Summer Photography Ideas

Summer Portrait Ideas

Tips to Capture Fun Summer Moments

Must-Take Summer Photos

Creative Photography Ideas for Summer

Tips for Awesome Summer Snaps

Tips for Shooting Portraits in Bright Sunshine

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Best Summer Animations

Perhaps it's the swiftness of the passing days, or the fact that I work through most of them, but summer and what it should mean — relaxation and pleasure, to my way of thinking — is on my mind a lot.

People get animated at this time of year discussing vacation plans and activities. While some while away the hours lakeside, partaking in a variety of  pastimes from  boating to berry picking to sunbathing, others are content to take their  respite in a swaying hammock strung between two shady maples right in their own backyard.   The hardy prefer adventure,  expending energy in white water rafting,  rappelling mountains or hiking woods.

There is surfing, swimming, sailing, something to be done, barbecues and beaches to be enjoyed.

Though most of the action centres around the annual summer vacation, weekends during this season are also quite different than those spent in the winter. From the time people stop cocooning until the deep heat of summer once again makes them torpid, they are on the move.  Saturday and Sundays they are found bringing yards back to life, working in gardens, mowing lawns, raking, digging, painting. These are the days when a day's labour leads to drinks on the deck with neighbours or poolside gatherings with groups of friends.

If you're looking for images to depict summer and the abundance of activities that are define it, what could be more perfect than animations. Here are some of the best:

AnimationFactory Summer Clipart

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Awesome Photoshop Tutorials for Summer

Well, here we are just over three weeks into summer. Hard to believe actually. It doesn't seem all that long ago  was feeling pretty excited that the summer solstice had arrived.

Yet, once that school bell rings for the final time before the children set out for their extended break, the days seem to fly past.  Mondays arrive now with me looking ahead to what I think  is going to be a long stretch before the next weekend, only to discover it's Friday before I know it.

As a result, though summer's arrival had been welcome, I'm desperately trying to find a way to slow my days down, even work ones, just a bit.

While taking on some fun Photoshop projects probably isn't going to serve that purpose, I suppose at least it's one way to experience summer when you're stuck indoors.  Here are some great Photoshop tutorials geared to your summer state of mind:

Create a 3-D Summer Themed Text Effect

You Tube Summer Photoshop Tutorial

Create a Vintage Hazy Summer Effect

30 Awesome Summer Themed Tutorials

Monday, July 7, 2014

Awesome Images of Summer Fun

When we think of summer days, particularly the weekend, it conjures up images of fun, play and relaxation. There is a hammock, swaying gently beneath the branches of two shady maples. We see children splashing in a pool, faces lit by smiles and mischief. There is too, the boisterous socializing of a backyard barbecue, as friends and family gather for drinks, food and conviviality.

Every once in a while, however, work wiggles its way into the mix of activity, pushing out any chance of pleasure and leisure.  Such was the case this past weekend as my husband and I spent Saturday and Sunday down and dirty in renovations.  While we worked up a sweat indoors, tearing and scraping, we tried to avoid too many longing glimpses out the window at the gorgeous sunshine and blue sky.

Life does get in the way of a good time now and again. It's to be expected, even in the summer. Yet, heading back to work this morning after that weekend, I did feel a bit cheated. Now, with no images of fun, play and relaxation of my own to fall back on, I will have to rely on these wonderful photos  I discovered online:

iCLIPART.com Summer Fun Photos

iPHOTOS.com Images of Summer Fun

Clipart.com Summer Fun

Acclaim Images Summer Fun Photos

Baby Center Kids, Sun and Summer Fun Gallery