jAlbum - A very useful tool ... 'watermarking' guide.

If you care about photography as a profession - please watermark all your images and never post full sized images on the Internet.  It doesn't matter whether you want to sell your images or not; the simple fact is that copyright theft and 'royalty free photographs' together with competitions that obtain full rights to submitted images have had a negative effect on photographers that are trying to earn a crust.  Added to which the government changed the laws on images and IP rights on the Internet

Social media sites (eg Facebook, Twitter) assume rights to any media that we upload, as do the BBC, National Geographic and others.  Always check the 'terms and conditions' before you upload images anywhere.  This is my way of submitting images and holding on to my Intellectual Property rights.

This is a quick guide to using a very nifty little program called 'jAlbum' to watermark your image by using presets that you setup on first running the program.  Please be aware that jAlbum is, in my opinion, the easiest way to create web-ready albums of your images - with 'Paypal' support - if you write your own websites and host your own domains.  This article concentrates on 'watermarking' only though.

1.  Create a folder on your C:/Drive or a secondary drive called 'my photos'.  Never save images inside your profile. Follow the guidelines on an earlier post.  Now create another folder within that folder create a folder called 'AA_copyright_only'.  This is where you will copy any images you want to make slides of for Social Media useage - Facebook, Twitter etc.

2.  Visit http://jalbum.net/en/ and download your trial version.

3.  Open the program and select a skin that appeals to you (the options differ from skin-to-skin).  I use 'Chameleon'.  You can select it in the bottom left under 'Skin & Style'.

4.  Now click on 'Settings'.  Point your folder locations to C:\my photos\AA_copyright_only on both boxes.  Ignore the 'Album Thumbnail' dialogue and place a tick in 'Change directory locations'.  You can create a separate output folder if you wish.  Now, using your file manager, copy the images you want to make watermarked copies of into the folder that you have made.  They will appear on the jAlbum screen.  Never work on your original file and this should be a copy of your finished image - just in case something goes wrong.  Click 'Ok' when done.

Now go to the 'Images' tab and select 640x640 for your image size.  Select 90 for thumbnails if you want to use them for .ico files or small profile image files - I leave mine on 120x120.

Now click on the 'Chameleon' tab on the top right and then select  'filters' and 'watermark'.  Then enter ©Copyright (your name).  Play with the other settings to your satisfaction.  I currently use size 11, Horizontal alight - Left.  Margin 20px.  Vertical align - bottom. Opacity 30%.

If you have a business logo - or have made one for fun, simply click 'logo' on the same screen and tell the program where to find it and position it.  It's worth using a logo as part of the image remains hidden for high resolution purposes should you ever need to take legal action.

Once you have done all of the above, save the configuration file and name it 'copyright'.  Now click 'Make Album' as on the first image.  It takes seconds to make 50 web ready images.

To find the images that are now ready for posting, use your file manager and look in the following folder (if you followed the instructions here):  c:\my photos\AA_copyright_only\slides.

There's no point in re-naming your files as Facebook etc strip all of the metadata from uploaded images. This way, you now have a file with your name on and logo if you wish.  Every time you want to add an image for online use - just copy it to the same directory as above and click 'make album'.

The gang at jAlbum are offering a 20% discount on 100 jAlbum licences for members of the WPICC. Just enter "wolf-photography" as the discount code on their checkout page.

All the best

Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu

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