There is not much that you can do to protect your photos from being downloaded by other people so you will just have to live with it. But what you can do is put a water mark onto each photo. It won't stop people from stealing them but at least your web site or blog name is on the picture. If the text is near the edge they can just crop it off but that's extra work for them and most thieves just don't like working very hard do they?
How do you water mark your picture? This is fairly easily done if you have some photo editing software. I use Photoshop but you can use anything. There is some free software called paint.NET that can be downloaded used to edit your photos, its an up spec version of Microsoft paint. Everyone that has a google account can also use Picasa3 to edit your photos and watermark them as well.
I always make a copy of all the photos I use on my blog so then I can edit them. That way I have the original copy just in case.
Its pretty easy to get started its just a little time consuming is the only problem but I have complete control over the photo, text placement, text colour and any effects I want.
Creating your Water mark - In Photoshop
To watermark your image, first select the text button from the toolbar then secondly select the colour you want the text to appear in, in this case I'll make the watermark in Kawasaki colours.
Once you click on the colour button on the tool bar the colour palet will come up. From here you can either select the colour from the palet or use the ink dropper tool which is high lighted on the left hand tool bar and click on any part of the picture to grab that colour. The circled part of the fairing is what I picked as the colour which shows up as Red: 99, Blue: 6, Green: 212.
Once the colour is selected just highlight a section on the photo about the size you want the text to be and type in your text as per next picture.
From there you can move the text into any place you want, re size the text and even add effects to it like drop shadows etc. To add a drop shadow click on the fx button and then select the drop shadow from the menu and use the sliders to get the desired effect.
There you have it a quick easy way to put text over any of your picture where you have full control of the picture size when you save it, most of my pictures are around 3-4mb but when i save them with photoshop I can select the size of the image which is usually about 700kb to 1mb. Save your watermark so you can use it on every photo you want to use.
So here is the finished product.
The next 2 pictures are just variations on the same theme I have already made. One of them is a little harder to see the text than the other.
Oh and by the way Erik if you want the photos of your bike shoot me an email and I'll send them to you.
Creating your Water mark - In PICASA3
It's very simple to watermark your photos with Picasas3 although it doesn't have many options to allow you to create effects etc but you can still watermark all your photos. If I was using this I would also make a copy of all the pics you are using just in case something goes wrong and your original pictures are damaged or lost.
First open Picasa3 and select a photo you want from your library.
Then once you have selected the picture then select the text button.
From this page you can just type your text on the page and then use the buttons on the left to adjust the text colour, size, font then you can just drag the text into the position you want it in by clicking on the ring around the text. If you want to turn the text onto a different angle you can click on the circle part around the text and drag the little wheel until the text is in the position you want.
Now to make the text transparent just drag the slider up and down until you are happy with the level of transparency.
The disadvantage that I can see with Picasa3 is that unless your watermark is fairly simple in its design then you could spend ages doing every single picture with each individual setting. This isn't the case using photoshop as when you make your watermark text once and then you save it and just add it to each picture, quite simple really. With Picasa3 it looks like you need to make your water mark each time, a time consuming process which is not for me.
So there you have it 2 different ways to watermark your picture. If you use the free PAINT.NET program it is similar to Microsoft paint and also photoshop but with fewer features. Happy blogging.
Captains Blog Supplemental
I've also just discovered that Photoshop will also batch watermark all my photos, it just needs to be set up for vertical and horizontal pictures. It worked a treat tonight so that will save me a little more time on the next blog post. Its a little bit involved, but if someone wants to know then maybe I'll have to do another post. Cheers for the idea Bob.