Sunday, December 5, 2021

To Protect and Preserve

 A watermark is a double edge sword, a necessary evil. It is one of those obnoxious semi-transparent words ones sees on an image. It is also embedded in the meta data, so some dastardly digital savvy bloke cannot remove it. The mark itself has to be over a significant part of the image to protect it. All an artist or photographer has to prevent one's work from being stolen and freely used by anyone is this mark. Although my camera embeds my copyright information into the each photo taken, that information is hidden within the metadata of the image. 

Some sites offer a setting that prevents one from double clicking and copying an image, which is very effective. Instagram is popular with artists because one cannot copy and save an image from a posting. Facebook (ironically in this case renamed Meta) offers no such protection.

I realized that my work was being pilfered from online postings when I came across one of my photographs used by someone else I had never heard of. Stealing one's work off the web these days is much easier than the grand Gardener Art Museum heist of 1990 and just as deleterious to the artist. So I have been forced to add a watermark to all my work. 


I thought long and hard about doing this, but felt it was necessary. The art of watermarking is making it  effective while allowing someone to still see the image. Too dark and one cannot really see and appreciate the image, too transparent and a simple increase of contrast will remove its effect. So now when you come across my work online you will see these unpalatable marks. It pains me to do so. But in these days of the wild west of the world wide web, I feel I have no choice.

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