Adding A Watermark In Adobe Lightroom 4
I have to admit, I have never used Adobe Lightroom (until today) even though I am a self admitted Poster Child for Adobe products.
My best friend on the other hand, is taking a photography class and her instructor suggested that she purchase the software. When she asked me how to add the watermark, all I could think of was “I dunno” and told her: “let me get back to you”, and then I downloaded the trial software and began to play with it.
Now that I’ve been playing with it for half an hour or so, I’ve realized 2 things:
1. I should have this software being the hobby photographer that I am.
2. The watermark feature is going to need a lot of improvement if it’s ever going to look as nice as simply adding one in Photoshop with the click of a new layer.
Then again, my friend doesn’t use Ps CS6, nor does she need it for photography, so here is a basic tutorial for adding a watermark, in (hopefully) simple terms and illustrations: (click on any of the images to view full size in a new window).
First, open Lightroom and select a photo by clicking on File > Import Photos and Videos.
A directory from your computer will show in the Lightroom panel for you to select the image you want to work with. (Let me also say, how really nice looking the work panel is inside Lightroom).
By default you will notice that all images in what ever directory you choose, is going to be selected. In this case, I only wanted to choose one and so clicked “Uncheck All” and selected the one I wanted, and clicked “Import” in the bottom right.
You now have the photo you want to work with and your control panel should look like the image below with your image in the window.
Click the “fit” tab (on the left in the “Navigator” panel) for a larger view to work with.
Now, in this tutorial, I’m assuming that you don’t have a watermark saved in preferences and also that you do have one available to use in a .gif or .png file format.
In the future, you can do this next step when you’re ready to export your image, but since we need to set up a folder to export it to, we’re also going to create a text and graphic preset for the watermark at the same time.
To add a watermark to your presets, select Edit > Edit Watermarks:
The following window will appear. This step is for creating and saving a TEXT watermark. The step for making a GRAPHICS watermark is further down. Simply click on the “TEXT” radio button and type in the text window what you would like for it to read. This is also where you can change the font style, size, alignment, etc. Use the scroll bar to scroll down to the preferences for moving the watermark around on the image and also sizing it (shown in the photo immediately below this one):
(use “Watermark Effects” to position it where you want it to appear on your photo)
You will use the ”Watermark Effects” for both text and graphic watermarks.
If you would like to use an image for your watermark, select the “Graphic” radio button (next to watermark style at the top and to the right of the “text” option).
A directory window will pop up for you to select an image from.
Again, use the scroll bar to move down to “Watermark Effects” and position it where you want it to be on your photo and/or to resize it.
Click “Save” to save your watermark as a preset to be used again later by giving it a familiar name and clicking “Create” as shown below:
You will notice that the watermark was not applied to your image. That’s because we were only adding it to the presets. Adding a watermark actually happens when you’re finished working with the image and are ready to ‘export’ it.
Click on File > Export:
A pop up window will appear for you to select export options as shown below. I chose to create a subfolder titled “lightroom export” on my desktop for quicker access but you can save your images any where you want to. Before you select “Export”, scroll down to the “Watermark” and check the box next to it, then select the watermark you wish to apply. (see 2nd image below):
(Remember to scroll down to the “Watermark” options and select your preset)
Click “Export” and go to the file folder you selected earlier and open the image to see the watermark. Here’s mine:
I just happen to have a watermark already created in a color that compliments this photo, but a lot of people like to use the basic black.
A couple of things to remember if your watermark looks ‘pixelated’ or ‘grainy’:
1. Make sure when you click on export that the option to ‘resize’ is not selected. If you wish to resize the image, it’s best to resize it and then go back and add the watermark.
2. Depending on the size of your photo that you plan to watermark, you may need to adjust the size of your watermark. This is because the application scales according to the photo you are applying the watermark to. (Note the 2 examples below):
This particular image is 1000px wide and 667px high.
(On both images, the watermark settings were):
Inset: Horizontal=0, Vertical=0
Anchor: top left
In the first example, I used a watermark that is size 160px wide and 107px high and 72 resolution:
In the following example, I used a watermark that was 1000px wide and 667px high (same size as the photo that we’re applying the watermark to, only the resolution was 240). Notice that it appears just a little larger, and also a little faded:
Obviously, the larger watermark is going to scale down (in this case by 75% of it’s original size) and still be clear. (In previous versions of Lightroom, downsizing the watermark doesn’t work as well). On the other hand, what happens if we change the Proportion property to a higher number, such as “30″?
The smaller watermark loses a lot of it’s clarity:
Where as the larger image (same size as the photo we’re resizing… see their differences below) is still very clear:
The bottom line is this: If you want a smooth looking watermark (if using a graphic) be prepared to do some basic math and unless you will be working with the same size photos all of the time, you’re going to want to make a few various sizes to save in your presets.
These were the two .png files I used for watermarking in the above examples:
160px wide x 107px high:
And the larger one (click to view full size in new window) 1000px wide x 667px high:
And just incase you’re interested in how to calculate a good size, see “Calculating The Best Dimensions For Lightroom Watermarks“.
I hope this helps a few, leave a comment if you have questions!
(please remember to share! :)