Beautiful and Classic Savannah and “Why I Don’t Use Watermarks”

Why I don’t use Watermarks

I get this question a lot, and it often comes up in interviews. I know my opinion is different than many other photographers, and that is okay.

As you know, my work is all Creative Commons Non-Commercial. That means people, as long as they give credit and link back here to http://www.StuckInCustoms.com can use my images on their blogs, wallpaper, personal use – anything – as long as it is not used commercially. Every day, I upload a HUGE max-resolution image to the Internet. I do not have any fear at all… Believe me, it’s quite liberating living in a world without internet-stealth-fear.

People that want to license our images regularly contact licensing at stuckincustoms.com – we get many of these every day of the week.

So why don’t I use watermarks? It’s a multi-part philosophy –

1) Watermarks look ugly. Whenever I look at a photo with a watermark, often times, ALL I can think about is that watermark! It’s so distracting. Maybe this is just me.

2) Legitimate companies do not steal images to use commercially. So I don’t have any logical fear there.

3) There are other services, like Tineye (and Google) that can help my team easily find bottom-feeders.

4) We do register our images with the copyright office, so if someone uses an image commercially without a proper license, it is an easy lawsuit.

5) I don’t have to maintain two versions of each image – one with a watermark and one without.

6) NOT using watermarks and using creative commons helps more and more people to use your image freely for fun, which increases traffic and builds something I call “internet-trust.”

7) As image search and image recognition get better and better, there will be no need to watermark things. In 1 year+, we’ll be able to r-click an image and choose “Google-find the original creator” — there is a bit trail to first-on-the-internet.

8) Yes, last, there will be bottom-feeders that steal your stuff. I call this the cost of doing business on the internet. These are the Tic-Tacs that are stolen from the 7-11. It is impossible to maintain 100% of your digital inventory, so wanting “perfection” in your online strategy is an illusion.

Daily Photo – Beautiful and Classic Savannah

When I drove through Savannah, I met up with my good friend Scott Kublin who showed me some of the sights. This gem of a place was one of the first places we visited. I walked up and down the road a few times to find the most interesting place to take a photo. This one was taken with the 14-24 lens — although the other interesting shot was the 200mm shot from much further away. I decided to go with this one because I really liked the position of the sun.

HDR-Photo

View Comments

Wormsloe, the Endless Forest of Savannah

My Biggest Photo Ever and Flickr can’t handle it

The TIFF of the photo below is 984 megs, and the JPG is 124 megs! It’s about 16,000 pixels across and very fun to zoom in on as you go down the lane. I dropped it to 12,000 pixels so I could upload, but, I feel a little short-changed!

You can see the Original Size below, zoomed into 100% down the middle of the lane…

I wish Flickr would offer a premium subscription where I could post huge photos. I’d gladly pay $200 a year for a premium subscription that gets me all sorts of extra features, like big photos, high quality videos like my Vimeo sub, tier 1 tech support, and all sorts of other goodies.

Another Forest Photo, Hanging at HQ of Flickr Competitor

The fine people at Smugmug (see my portfolio there at StuckInCustoms.smugmug.com) have chosen my Bamboo Forest photo to hang inside their headquarters in California.  They are actually building a 60″ lightbox behind it.  I’ll see it in person in a few weeks when I go visit the crew there.  I’m looking forward to it!

Daily Photo – Wormsloe, the Endless Forest of Savannah

My friend Scott Kublin (who made it to my Favorites page on my iPhone… he was at the bottom, but I just moved him up above the babysitter) lives in Savannah, so it was good to visit him on my little road trip. He commented that regular visitors to Stuck In Customs would probably like to see current shots while I am traveling around!  So, here it is! However, this one took about 3-4 hours to edit, five cups of coffee, and several pieces of pie. Did you see my little “Buy Trey Chocolate For Energy” there in the right column? Yes, I burn through copious calories to create these things. This one almost broke my back, but I am very happy with it.

Some of you may remember this place from Forest Gump… A lot of it was shot down in Savannah. Besides Wormsloe, I also visited some amazingly moody cemeteries, draped in mossy trees. I’ll get to editing those photos another time… maybe when I get back home to Texas!

Wormsloe, the Endless Forest of Savannah - 16,000 pixels wide!

Wormsloe Full Zoom

The photo above, zoomed to 100% in Photoshop, right down the lane…

View Comments
Welcome to STUCK IN CUSTOMS Welcome to my travel photography blog!
Enjoy the daily photos, tips, tutorials & more!
Newsletter Sign Up
The Most Beautiful Newsletter Ever!


x