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Image Watermarking

New in Backlight 3.1

Backlight's Publisher can add watermarks to your images during publishing!

Watermarking requires a prepared PNG file of your watermark, and some setup within your album template. Watermarks are applied to selected renditions only; for example, you might like to watermark your large photos, but not your thumbnails.

If using Backlight's Publisher to upload images, follow the instructions below.

If using our Publish Services plugin for Lightroom Classic, see Backlight Watermarking vs. Lightroom's Publish Services.

Step 1: Create your watermark#

Use your preferred editing software to create your watermark file. For best results, however, you will want to follow some best practices.

Watermarks should be saved in PNG format; transparency is supported.

Watermarks scale in size based on the long-side of your images, so keep your large rendition size in mind when creating your watermark. While not overly difficult, appropriately sizing your watermark is probably the hardest part of this.

In short, you'll want to know about your photo renditions:

  • the long-edge size of your images
  • the narrowest width images are likely to appear on your website

For simple math, let's assume a long-edge of 1000 pixels as the basis for all image sizes. And in my case, published images adhere to the following aspect ratios:

  • Landscape orientation - 6:4, 16:10, 16:9, 2:1
  • Portrait orientation - 4:6, 11:14
  • Square - 1:1

My landscape-oriented and square images will always be 1000 pixels wide; we needn't be concerned with the height.

The narrowest images on my site will be those in portrait-orientation, at the 4:6 aspect ration. Based on my long-edge of 1000 pixels, these images will be 667 pixels wide.

Knowing this, my watermark file should be a PNG file with a maximum width of 667 pixels.

Now, consider the content of the watermark. In my case, the watermark will read as "Campagna Photography" on a single line, with no additional graphics, making it relatively wide and not very tall.

At 667 pixels wide, and setting my watermark width as "66%" (of 1000px) within my album template, the watermark would occupy the full width of my portrait-oriented images; that's overdoing it.

Considering the form factor of my text, I think 500 pixels is a fair width for my watermark -- less than my maximum of 667, and 50% of my long edge, and so I will create my PNG file 500 pixels wide.

Step 2: Upload your watermark file#

Create your watermark as a PNG file in the software of your choosing, then upload that file to Backlight. In your admin, visit Designer => Templates => Uploaded Images to upload your PNG.

You will be asked to give your watermark a name. I find it helpful to include the size of the image in the name, making it easier to identify if I later upload variant watermarks. For example, I might name the watermark "Watermark: Campagna Photography, 500px".

Step 3: Configure the watermark in your template#

In Designer => Templates, select the album template for which you would like to configure watermarks.

Open the Image Renditions control group, and locate the "Watermarks" heading. Set "Configure Watermark" option to ON to reveal the configuration settings.

Select the "Image" by the name you assigned when uploading your watermark.

The subsequent settings are purely subjective, but in keeping with the example PNG image above, I would choose to set them as follows.

The "Width" is a percentage of the image's long-edge. Above, I created a 500px PNG watermark based on an assumption of a 1000px long-edge, and so I would set the Width as 50%.

"Placement" is the position where the watermark will appear. My personal preference is "bottom-right", putting it in the lower, right-hand corner of the image. I then set both horizontal and vertical margin to 1%, just go get the watermark slightly off the edge of the frame.

Step 4: Enable the watermark for your renditions#

Scroll further down the Image Renditions group. You'll find sections for "Thumbnails" and "Photos", each having an option to apply the watermark to that rendition specifically.

I like to enable watermarks for photos, but NOT for thumbnails. This leaves the thumbnail grid looking clean in the album, and the thumbnail images aren't large enough to concern myself with protecting them.

In the Advanced Settings control group, you can also scroll down to the "Downloads" section. If you select "Create custom download rendition ...", you will be able to configure a separate downloadable image rendition, and you may choose whether or not to display watermarks on these images as well.

Backlight Watermarking vs. Lightroom's Publish Services#

By default, Backlight's watermarking is unavailable when publishing images from Lightroom, and watermarks configured in album templates will be ignored. In this scenario, you should use Lightroom's native watermarking features doing image export/publishing. See relevant documentation from Adobe for more information how to do that.

If you would like to use Backlight's watermarking instead, you may do so.

First, enable the feature "Publish Master Renditions from Lightroom" in Backlight's Settings. This done, follow the steps above.

Additionally, you should ensure that Lightroom's native watermarking is disabled when exporting/publishing images.