How to Protect Your Real Estate Photos and Videos

How to Protect Your Real Estate Photos and Videos

Today consumers use more than anything the internet as their primary research tool. Therefore it’s no surprise that, according to these stats, 80% of those interested in buying a property will initially run an online search to discover what the market can offer. Moreover, 83% of potential buyers will place a great deal of importance on visuals, whether it be photo galleries, slideshows, clips or virtual tours.

As a consequence, if he wants to focus on delivering the best possible service, a real estate agent has to create an alluring listing to match the buyer’s expectations. This means including as many details as possible, as well as great images and/or videos that make the most of the property’s strong points. Basically this should cover it, right? You do your homework, prepare the setting, take a couple of nice shots, do a little bit of editing if necessary and then list the property.

Well, there’s only one problem. Quality visuals tend to catch the eye and it’s no wonder that they get stolen on a constant basis in the real estate business. So unless you want to see your photos on another agent’s website or on a listing portal under a different name, it’s best to ensure their online protection. Here’s how:

How to watermark property images

The best way to protect your original photos is to visually watermark them. This way it will be clearly visible which agency/realtor those photos belong to, and in the very unlikely situation that someone still copies them it will do you a favor by advertising your services!

There are numerous tools (any image editor can do it) that can help you through the process, but it’s advisable to use one particularly designed for watermarking photos.

The main advantage of such an app is that it allows you to watermark your pictures in batch mode, making sure you save time and energy. Regardless of the number of photos, you can apply your watermark on all of them at the same time, in a single session.

The watermark, whether it’s text or logo, is completely customizable, meaning you can choose to position it where you like, rotate it to your desired preference, apply effects like stroke or shadow and many more. According to your individual preferences, you can opt to create a discreet, totally unobtrusive watermark or, on the contrary, a prominent one that clearly states who the images belong to.

With PhotoMarks, regardless of what type of watermark you wish to insert, the process is the same and quite simple:

  1. Add the photos through a simple click or by drag and drop.
  2. Go to Edit Photos > Add Filter > Marks and select text or logo watermark.
  3. Go to Setup, select your output folder, the desired image format and afterwards hit the Process button.

Just bear in mind that not all listing portals accept watermarked images. Therefore, before submitting your listing to a dedicated portal, whether Zillow, Redfin or Realtor.com, make sure you check their individual policy with regard to watermarked photos.

How to watermark property videos

When we talk about clever ways of marketing a home, video creation is definitely on the list. A short clip of the property or perhaps a virtual tour can really attract potential buyers and eventually tip the balance in your favor. But just as important as creating your videos is protecting them from being used without your authorization.

The best way to do this is by adding a watermark that will confirm ownership of that specific material. Depending on your preferences, there are several video editing tools you can resort to, including a professional one like Adobe’s Premiere Pro. The process of applying a watermark to your property video is far from being complicated and doesn’t take long either. Here’s how:

  1. Import the two files you’ll be using: the video file and the logo/text watermark image.
  2. Drag and drop the video and image to your timeline, making sure you position the image file on the layer above the clip
  3. Position the watermark where you want it to appear by double clicking on it and dragging it to a certain area. If you want it to be subtle, it’s advisable to place it in the bottom right corner. At the same time, drag the handles to resize it.
  4. Drag the edge of the image file until it matches the length of the clip. This way, by extending it, it will be displayed throughout the entire clip.

In general, a watermark can be seen not only from a protection perspective, but also from a marketing one. Having that logo on your property photos and videos is not only a way to safeguard them against theft, but also to identify yourself on the market as a professional realtor.

How to Remove a Watermark in Photoshop

How To Remove A Watermark in Photoshop

The topic of watermarking is and will probably remain up for debate for quite a long time. Some, seeking to protect and at the same time market their work, do watermark their pictures. Others, considering all it does is cause distraction from the image itself, refuse to apply it.

In one of our previous tutorials, we’ve showed you how to add a watermark in Photoshop. Today, in this new tutorial we are going to show you how to remove a watermark using Adobe’s software. When and if you feel the need to get rid of that identification mark, it’s important to know that there are several methods you can employ in order to accomplish your goal.

Ideally it would be to restore the original image, but if you don’t have it, the first and most basic way to remove a watermark is to use the Crop tool. All you have to do is to simply crop out that specific area of the image, but this is not the best option possible since you can risk losing some important data in the process.

Remove Watermarks with Content Aware Fill

Another method is to take advantage of the Content Aware Fill feature. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1

Open the image in Photoshop. Next make a selection around the text or logo watermark. You can do this using several tools, either the Pen tool, the Quick Selection tool or the Magic Wand one. Regardless of which tool you opt for, the selection around the watermark should look like this:

How To Remove A Watermark In Photoshop

Step 2

In this step we are going to make minor adjustments to the selected area, more precisely expanding it in order to incorporate some background pixels. Go to Select > Modify > Expand. In the newly opened dialog box, expand the selection by the number of pixels you want and hit the OK button.

How To Remove A Watermark In Photoshop

How To Remove A Watermark in Photoshop

Step 3

Now let’s take advantage of the Content Aware Fill feature and its capabilities to remove objects from an image.

Go to Edit > Fill. In the Fill dialog box that just popped up, select Content Aware in the Contents section, leave Color Adaptation unchecked, set the Mode to Normal and the Opacity to 100% and click on the OK button.

How To Remove A Watermark In Photoshop

This is how your picture should look like after applying the Content-Aware option:

How To Remove A Watermark In Photoshop

Step 4

Deselect the selection by pressing Ctrl+D on your keyboard. Now you’ll probably notice that the area where the watermark used to be is filled with the background color. But the outline of the watermark is still visible and we need to remove it too.

How To Remove A Watermark In Photoshop

Step 5

In order to remove the text outline we are going to resort to the Clone Stamp Tool, so select it from the left side toolbar (or just press S). Next hold down the “Alt” key (notice that the cursor turns into a target) and begin taking samples around the watermark. Now you can retouch the picture by clicking and dragging the cursor over the watermark’s outline area. Stop when there are no more traces of the original watermark left.

Use the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush Tools

Another way to remove watermark from photos is to resort to other post-processing tools, like the Clone Stamp and the Healing Brush. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1

Open the photo you want to edit in Photoshop and grab the Clone Stamp tool from the left side toolbar. Once you’ve selected it, make sure to set the brush size and the hardness to match your retouching needs by right clicking on the image.

How To Remove A Watermark In Photoshop

Step 2

Position the cursor in the area where the watermark is placed. Next hold the “Alt” key on your keyboard (the cursor will become a target) and click on the area where you want to extract the pixels from, near the watermark.

Step 3

Once you’ve finished taking samples, release the “Alt” key. Next hold down the left mouse button and begin painting over the watermark.

How To Remove A Watermark In Photoshop

Step 4

Select the Healing Brush tool from the left side toolbar, used for removing marks or clearing up various spots and traces. Now right click on the image and choose the suitable settings for the brush size and hardness.

Step 5

This is the step where you begin the healing. Hold down your “Alt” key and take samples from an area around the original watermark. Next start painting with small clicks until all the traces of the watermark are gone.

 

Disclaimer: Bits&Coffee does not encourage users to steal the original work of photographers by removing text or logo watermarks from images. This blog post is simply taking advantage of Photoshop’s post-processing tools built to remove various objects and information from photos. 

How To Protect Your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Photos

How To Protect Your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Photos

iPhone photography represents without a doubt an arising art. More and more people are inclined to resort to their smart phone to take pictures, whether we’re talking about landscape, street and day-to-day scene, food or portrait shots. Why? Because, by using the iPhone’s camera to its full potential and by doing a little bit of editing afterwards, you can get truly outstanding photos. And the best part, you can instantly share them with your friends and followers.

This is a new trend even businesses have learned to embrace, since it allows them to broaden their perspectives by tapping into new markets and audiences. Capturing high-quality photos with the iPhone and easily sharing them on social networking sites like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter is definitely great for businesses, professional or amateur photographers and all users, but there’s also an issue to consider.

Sharing great-looking pics with large audiences makes them susceptible to theft and this is where you need to take appropriate measures. One of the solutions is to discover how to watermark photos and hence increase your protection against theft.

Why watermark your photos

Applying a watermark to your iPhone photos can turn out to be a beneficial strategy for two main reasons.

First and foremost, it can help you protect your original images against theft. Once you watermark your pictures with a logo or a name, you clearly state that those represent your intellectual property and can be used only with your prior consent.

Second of all, a watermark can help you advertise your work. If one of your photos goes viral and you have applied a watermark on it with your name or your company’s name, you’ll not only get the proper credit, but also increase your online visibility, drive traffic to your website and attract prospects.

Why use a watermark app

The main benefit of using an iPhone watermark app consists in saving considerable amount of time and energy. You no longer have to transfer your photos onto your laptop or PC and use a software to process them. Once you take a snapshot, you can immediately watermark it and then upload it online directly from your iPhone. So if you care about your original images and wish to safeguard them, there are apps built to serve exactly this purpose, like PhotoMarks for instance.

PhotoMarks makes it very easy for you to add watermarks to pictures and to share them on your favorite social media platforms. You can easily apply text, as well as logo watermarks to your photos before uploading them to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or before sharing them via email. And since full customization options are placed at your disposal, you can quickly create a watermark that entirely matches your preferences.

If you’re working with logo watermarks, you can position them exactly where you want with just a couple of taps, you are free to adjust the transparency or apply a shadow effect for a more appealing look. On the other hand, if you prefer text marks, you get complete power to customize the size, font and color, tweak the transparency or add special effects like shadow or stroke.

The best part is that you’ll be working on multiple layers, which means you can make as many edits as you want, undo as many actions as you need without affecting the original photo.

File an official complaint if necessary

Unfortunately there is no protection method against image theft that is bulletproof. Even if you insert a symbol, logo or text clearly indicating that the image is your intellectual property, it still may be possible you become victim of copyright infringement. If this happens and someone begins using one of your pictures without your consent, it’s advisable to address to the appropriate authority.

Of course, as a first measure, you can try to get in touch with the person that’s illegally using your artwork and ask him to remove it. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to move forward. Collect as much evidence of the infringement as possible (screenshots in particular) and take action against the offender.

Every major social networking site has a section where you can go and report a violation of your copyrights. So if someone has stolen one of your photos, don’t waste any more time and file a complaint with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other platform.

How to Add a Watermark in Photoshop

how-to-add-a-watermark-in-photoshop

In this modern era, where plagiarism has spread like wildfire, applying a watermark is essential in order to protect your images from unauthorized use. Moreover, it is a way for you, as a professional or amateur photographer, to get proper credit for your work.

To create a watermark in Photoshop is far from being a complicated process. On the contrary, it is quite easy to do and takes up very little of your time. Adobe’s software places at our disposal multiple ways of adding a watermark to our images and in this particular tutorial we’re going to take a closer look at two of these popular methods.

1. Create a text layer

The first and most basic method involves creating a simple text layer. This is how to do it:

Step 1 – Type your text

Open the image you want to watermark in Photoshop. Select the Text tool and begin typing your text. It can be anything you want, from your name, your company’s name to the address of your personal website.

Step 2 – Adjust the font and the placement

Once you’ve entered the text, you can begin playing around with the font type, size or color. Try various options until you find the right combination. Then decide where you want to position the watermark. The recommended alternative is to put it in a place where it doesn’t obscure your main image, like the lower right corner for instance.

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Step 3 – Apply special effects

In case you want to give your watermark an interesting look, you can play around with the Blending Options. You can apply the Bevel & Emboss effect for a more 3D appearance, drop a shadow, outer/inner glow, add a stroke and many more. This is the fun part of the process, because you have the possibility to try out as many looks as you want for your watermark. Just tweak those options until you’re entirely satisfied, there are no restrictions.

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Step 4 – Adjust the opacity

If you’re aiming for a discreet watermark as most do, then it’s best to make certain corrections like tweaking the opacity. This will make your text watermark less prominent, allowing the viewer to focus on the photo itself. So lower the opacity level until you finally achieve the aspect you want.

2. Create a watermark brush

The second method you can resort to in order to add copyright to photo involves using the Brush tool. This one will actually simplify your work, as you won’t have to follow the previous steps every time you wish to watermark your photos.

Step 1 – Create a new document

To open a new document go to File > New. A new window will pop up with a couple of options you need to pay attention to.

Give it a descriptive name like Watermark for instance. Now the most important thing is to ensure your fresh document has a transparent background, so select Transparent in the Background Contents section of the window.  Choose the size you want, let’s say 800 x 600 pixels, and hit the OK button.

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Step 2 – Enter your text

This step is pretty self-explanatory. All you have to do is select the Type tool and enter the text you wish to use a watermark.

Step 3 –  Set it up as you want

In this step you can get creative and customize your Photoshop watermark to your liking. Choose the font, size or color according to your taste. Apply special effects like Bevel & Emboss, drop a shadow or two, add inner or outer glow, the possibilities are numerous.

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Step 4 – Trim the image

Once you’ve established the final format of your text, you need to reduce the image to its size. To do this go to Image > Trim and then check Transparent Pixels.

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Step 5 – Turn it into a brush

In order to turn our image into a brush, we need to go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Set a relevant name for your newly-created brush and press OK.

Step 6 – Select the new brush

Open in Photoshop the picture you wish to watermark and create a new layer by clicking on the “new layer” icon located in the lower right panel. Now select the Brush tool and go to the Brush Preset menu bar. Scroll to the bottom where you’ll be able to find the brush you recently created.

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Step 7 – Apply the watermark to the image

Before adding the watermark, make some final adjustments. Set the color of your brush with the aid of the color picker and adjust the brush opacity to your liking. Now, once everything is set in order, you can apply it to the image.

How to Batch Watermark in Photoshop CS6

How to Batch Watermark in Photoshop CS6

Adding a watermark to an image is a step that shouldn’t be overlooked. First of all, because it can protect your authentic images from being illegally used by others. Second of all, because it can become a powerful marketing tool that may drive traffic to your website and bring new clients.

How to add a watermark to multiple images

This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to watermark an entire folder of photos at once. This way you can save a considerable amount of time and implicitly improve your productivity.

Step 1 – Open image

The first thing you have to do is open one of the images in the selected folder. In order to do this go to File -> Open and select the image.

Step 2 – Begin recording a new action

For our next step we have to use the Actions panel provided by Photoshop. Basically we are going to tell the software to record all the actions we carry out from now on and reproduce them later on.

These are the steps you need to follow: go to Window -> Actions, click the “Create new Action” button, give it a proper name, in our particular case “Watermark”, and hit “Record”.

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Step 3 – Create your watermark

This is the step where you choose which type of watermark you want to use and where to place it. If you’re using a copyright notice, it’s advisable to position it in the lower right corner. This way it will be less obtrusive and it will not cause distraction from the image.

Select the Horizontal Type Tool and begin typing the name of your watermark. It can be your name, the name of your website or anything else you wish. Then change its appearance to your liking by playing around with the font, size, color or level of opacity.

Step 4 – Apply effects to your text watermark

If you want to make your watermark stand out, Photoshop gives you the possibility to apply certain effects. For that you need to click on “fx” on the lower right panel and then Blending Options. Here you can play around with Bevel & Emboss to add highlights and shadows, add a stroke, inner/outer glow and many more. Of course, this step is completely optional and depends on each user’s individual preferences.

How to Batch Watermark in Photoshop CS6

Step 5 – Place your watermark

This following step is very important, because it will make sure the watermark you apply on the initial image will maintain its position on all processed photos from your selected folder. Here’s what you have to do: in the Layers tab on the bottom right of your screen select both the image and text layer by hitting Ctrl+Click.

Now take a look at the main toolbar and you’ll see that the Arrange buttons are now clickable. Click the “Align right edges” button and then the “Align bottom edges” one. As an alternative, you can go to Layer -> Align -> Right Edges, then Layer -> Align -> Bottom Edges. Regardless of the method you choose, it will position the watermark in the the lower right-hand edge.

In case you feel it got too stuck to the edge, you can opt for a little padding. In order to do that, select only the Text layer and then, using your arrow keys, move it to the left or up until you find a position that suits your taste.

How to Batch Watermark in Photoshop CS6

Step 6 – Stop recording

Once you’re done, you go again to the Actions panel and hit the square button that says “Stop Recording”. At this point you can close the initial photo, as you would be needing it anymore.

Step 7 – Begin batch processing

Now all there’s left to do is automate this process for our entire folder.

Go to File -> Scripts -> Image Processors. Select the Folder you want to process, as well as the folder where to save the processed images. Save them as JPEG and choose the quality you want. Make sure that in the Preferences section “Run action” is ticked, select the action you want to perform (we named it Watermark at the beginning) and hit Run.

How to Batch Watermark in Photoshop CS6

Once Photoshop has finished, you can go to the destination folder where you saved your photos and find them all watermarked.

Watermarking and Photo Sharing Websites

Watermark for Photo Sharing Websites

Watermarking has been and still is a topic with the power of easily sparking an intense debate. Photographers, business-oriented and hobbyists, have long debated whether the use of an identification mark can generate real benefits in terms of notoriety and financial gaining. Some claim they can actually live without it, while others see it as indispensable in the harsh environment of online publishing.

Why use a watermark

Regardless of what some may say, watermarking is not a mere trifle. On the contrary, it’s a mandatory step for industry professionals for two main reasons:

Protection against theft

Our modern era can open tremendous perspectives, but at the same time comes with certain drawbacks we all need to consider. One of these drawbacks is the fact that too many internet users assume they are entitled to take possession of things made available to them, in this particular case photos. Unfortunately this means copying images from photo sharing sites and making them their own, as a sign of complete disregard for other people’s hard work.

This unpleasant situation calls for adequate measures, and one of the best ways to safeguard your work against theft is to resort to a watermark software. Now this is where discussions arise, because some feel it is obtrusive and will cause distraction from the image itself. Well, this argument stands only if you intend to place a gigantic watermark on your picture. But if you create a subtle, tasteful one in the lower corner just to make sure people associate that image with your photographic pattern, it can’t really cause any distraction.

Market your photography

Let your imagination loose for a second and picture the following scenario. You’re a wedding photographer and one of the shots you shared on Flickr creates a massive stir. It gets thousands of shares, but you get neither credit for the photo, nor a link back to your site. Why? Simply because people do not know to whom they should attribute it, as there’s no clear indication of the original author. And don’t rely on the fact that normal users will do reverse image searching in order to find out your name.

Here is a clear example of where a watermark would definitely come in handy. This way you would be able to appropriately market your work, increase your popularity and drive traffic to your own website. People would slowly, but surely begin to identify you with a certain type of photography. Of course, if you’re an amateur and have no real intention of making money out of it, it’s not totally necessary. But if you’re a professional it’s a must, especially if you’ve already had images reposted from photo sharing sites like Facebook, 500 px or Flickr.

Why use a batch watermark tool

In order to watermark all your photos at the same time you need the right tool. One approach would be to resort to an all-round program like Photoshop. Just bear in mind that Adobe’s software requires you to perform multiple operations before you begin your batch processing. Another alternative would be to use an app particularly created for bulk editing, like PhotoMarks. Here’s why:

Watermark for Photo Sharing Websites

Watermark multiple photos at once

Designed to increase photographers’ productivity, this tool has the capacity to watermark hundreds or thousands of photos in one single session. The interface is quite intuitive with previews available along the way, allowing you to easily accomplish your tasks. All you have to do is add your photos, apply a logo or text watermark, select your output folder and begin processing.

Customize the watermarks as you wish

The app gives you the opportunity to add a text (either single or multi-line) or a logo watermark, both of them being entirely customizable. For that purpose you can adjust exactly the way you want the placement, tile mode, rotation, stroke and shadow effects, as well as the size, font or color.

Batch resize for web use

In order to optimize your images for online use you need to change their file size. The tool places at your disposal the Resize filter which lets you reduce the file size by selecting new dimensions for width and height expressed in either pixels or percentages. In addition to that, you can use Auto Rotate to automatically rotate photos to the proper orientation.

Directly upload to FTP, Flickr

Once you’re with editing your pictures, you have more options to make them available for internet users. You can upload the freshly-edited images directly to your website through FTP, you can upload them to a photo sharing website like Flickr, and even send them via email.