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Thread: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

  1. #1

    Default Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    Just wondering if u guys notice..

    I'm seeing more and more people who seems to be using a watermark, be it a quote, name, icon or otherwise to better 'compose' a photo. Not over the image as it is normally used, but almost as a feature in the photo. It may be to balance up, fill in a gap/space, or as the 'missing' element..

    Remove that, and you'll see that the photo is badly composed or unbalanced. Just use your finger to cover the watermark on your screen and you'll see what I mean.

    imho, I feel that this is beyond PP to make a photo better but more like trying to save an otherwise mediocre shot.

    I'm a noob and just sharing, tinking it looks like a little 'trap' to give ourselves a litle pat on our own backs..hee
    Something maybe worth watching out for?
    Last edited by redmonsoon; 2nd October 2009 at 12:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    you just reveal the unspoken truth, such phenomenon are not uncommon here, and the discussion on these are taboo, unwelcome, is a untouchable topic.


    to sum up in one word, you are simply telling people....

    "don't need cover up, your pix is sucks"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    I knew people who shoot with the watermarks in his mind. Purposely leaving out a space for it. So, how can we tell?
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    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    Agree. Some people shoot with the intention of using the photograph as a background for some words. Such photographs would require a large area of "blank-ness" so that the words will stand out. Y'know what I mean?

    I guess if a photo is taken with the intention of adding a logo or a message or what, that's alright what. =)
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    this is especially true for movie pictures - those u see in cinemas... they need the space to put some credits/etc.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    sometimes when i shoot I purposely compose with a blank space because i know beforehand that i will put text on that area.. never have i encountered a time where i thought putting a text would save a crappy image.. if it's crappy it's crappy.. with or without text..

    just my 2 cents..
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    These people are pro magazine cover shooters because that's what editors look out for when laying out their pages
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    For opening title sequence, we don't shoot dead space just to fit the copy/supers.. there is more to consider in the whole semiotics of the story and these little nuances can change at the editing stage.. adding text is secondary to the visual story-telling.
    during the post stage, if necessary, titles and text are included to further enhance the visuals.

    Unfortunately, more often than not, text and post effects have been heavily included to make up for lack-luster videography pretty often.. no time to recce for location, weather is bad, no time for shoot cos of budget etc, all these typical reason.. but when you see really good cinematography versus one laden with text, it becomes obvious that the visual quality is lacking.

    Unlike editorials, dead space has to be there for the copy BECAUSE the picture is MEANT to enhance the story and is usually secondary, not the main subject focus. Same for fashion photography, the copy is designed around the photo and pre-planned to break out of the photography 6x6 or whatever format.

    I guess what TS is saying is that more often than not, we are seeing an increase of people shooting pictures just to put watermark and copy TOTALLY UNRELATED to the visual story telling.. if anything, a properly composed shot using the golden ratio or the simpler rules of thirds allows for copy to be design around the visual. Because fundamentally aesthetics are based on it.

    I actually agree totally with TS that putting logo and your personal identity just for visual aesthetic is just so poser.. if you are selling yourself, by all means, include whatever contact or copyright information. But unfortunately many have been putting it just to give a pseudo professional edge to their otherwise copycat style of photography is simply just seeking attention instead of artistic photography. 1 example, some japanese text that nobody knows nuts of what it means slapped at a corner of a picture that doesn't relate to anything culturally japanese.
    Last edited by viix; 3rd October 2009 at 12:14 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    you just reveal the unspoken truth, such phenomenon are not uncommon here, and the discussion on these are taboo, unwelcome, is a untouchable topic.
    No lah, its always gd to discuss mah..see already got some many different ideas...
    Of course I'll totally agree with some of the put forth reasons, esp. those who purposely compose with a watermark in mind. For others, it may be just an excuse..

    Of course to each his own, no rules, just dont fall into 'trap'.
    eg. Using a watermark as an after-thought 'balancing tool' to make a composition is generally not ok and should be discouraged..

  10. #10

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    well, it depends.

    if the picture was taken with the logo/whatever in mind, fine.

    if it was just added , then that's a different thing. vision is very different from headless chicken correction.♦

  11. #11
    Deregistered shaoken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    I just have to say that, for such thing, sometimes is on purpose for some.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    well, it depends.

    if the picture was taken with the logo/whatever in mind, fine.

    if it was just added , then that's a different thing. vision is very different from headless chicken correction.♦
    Haha! Reminds me a quote from Ansel Adams:
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  13. #13
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    Agree that certain cases, watermarks might be excessively stylised to distract the viewer from the native photo itself and might impact an overall feel of the shot and assessment. But having the hindsight, comments and critique can still be made objectively on the photo despite the signature/watermark.

    And I tend to believe a badly done shot issin too salvageable with a fantastic watermark.

    No one is stopping you from saying
    " Good effort on the watermark, but I think u need much more effort in the photo! "

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  14. #14

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    a lot of my friends hate my watermark
    they will say "WHO WANTS TO STEAL YOUR PHOTOS?"
    but i think i'm just taking pride in them
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    so, TS, what is your conclusion?
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    Quote Originally Posted by redmonsoon View Post
    Just wondering if u guys notice..

    I'm seeing more and more people who seems to be using a watermark, be it a quote, name, icon or otherwise to better 'compose' a photo. Not over the image as it is normally used, but almost as a feature in the photo. It may be to balance up, fill in a gap/space, or as the 'missing' element..

    Remove that, and you'll see that the photo is badly composed or unbalanced. Just use your finger to cover the watermark on your screen and you'll see what I mean.

    imho, I feel that this is beyond PP to make a photo better but more like trying to save an otherwise mediocre shot.

    I'm a noob and just sharing, tinking it looks like a little 'trap' to give ourselves a litle pat on our own backs..hee
    Something maybe worth watching out for?
    If it's watermark, it should not be obvious. I call those obvious ones 'text'. There is nothing wrong in using text as part of the digital image composition. I won't call it a photo though..

    Even in ancient chinese painting, artists also use text and a stamp of their name as part of the image. Nothing wrong with that.. It's still art.
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 4th October 2009 at 10:47 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    Quote Originally Posted by JacePhoto View Post
    so, TS, what is your conclusion?
    I reckon wasnt looking for any conclusion.
    But I admit I've overlook those who shoot 'this way' on purpose, and for those few I'll agree are totally valid reasons.

    The post shows that most of u knows what I'm talking abt, and is good enough that noobs like myself will simply bare this issue in mind and give it some thought? Of course no right or wrong..

    Personally I feel that,eg. if asking for critique for a photo, then don't add decorative frames, or if adding watermarks, then do so NOT by placing it in a strategic 'composed' position, that adds to the image.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Using watermark to 'compose' a photo

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    If it's watermark, it should not be obvious. I call those obvious ones 'text'. There is nothing wrong in using text as part of the digital image composition. I won't call it a photo though..

    Even in ancient chinese painting, artists also use text and a stamp of their name as part of the image. Nothing wrong with that.. It's still art.
    Yes totally agree, and you can of course do whatever u wish to your own photos, text, frames and all.

    I should have made it clearer in the beginning that perhaps was referring to only those asking for photo critiques?

    Anyway, no big deal, just friendly discussion..

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