Monday, March 12, 2012

Watermarking Baby, Watermarking

Happy Monday Sweeties...
I hope you all had a lovely weekend!
Well, the Pinterest Controversy continues. Even we seemed to stir
up some lively debates that I'm still getting some comments & emails
about. But what I want to address in this post, is how to add a
watermark to your photographs. Some of you mentioned you weren't
exactly sure how to do this process & I'd love to help...that is if I can.  ;)
{disclaimer: it is completely possible that after reading this tutorial you may
know even less about watermarks then you did prior to reading this post, lol}

Most of the photographs I add to the worldwide web, whether through my
blog or facebook or flickr, I am not concerned about any form of copyright
infringement. They are put on the internet with the joy of sharing, to me that's
what the internet is all about. Sharing facts, history, information, images, creations,
joys & sorrows, for me the GREAT so outweighs the bad. But there are a few
images that I want to keep just for me. This post has a few of them &
therefore they are watermarked. I have dreamed about creating a card line
with some of my digital designs called 'JUST SAYIN' to go along with my
spoon jewelry line, 'SPOONIN'. {it could happen! lol}

Definition of photo Watermarking...
A logo or mark that is superimposed on an image to create a pattern that
indicates proof of ownership, typically used as security for copyright protection. 

On the first 2 images I added the watermark in Photoshop, which is a
program not everyone has access to. I put the words 'just sayin' on them,
but thinking about it now, that doesn't give anyone information on what
the original source is for the image. So in the image above I decided to add
my blog address to it instead, now we have an original source.

I use a free photo editing program for all my pictures by Google called Picasa.
Through Picasa I can crop, contrast, lighten, saturate, make black & white,
sepia tone, blur & add text. On the two images above I used the Picasa
text tool to add my watermark & it is sooo easy. It's literally a click of
a button, 'ADD TEXT', then you can choose the font you like, the size
you want, the color of text & it even has transparency to make your
watermark lighter or darker. I'm happy with the end result.

Here, I tried a smaller, lighter & more delicate watermark with Picasa. A watermark
doesn't have to overwhelm an image, that's totally up to you. There is an added  step with
Picasa though, you can not upload your photo directly from it. You must export it to a
folder, which I put on my desktop & then upload it from there. I mean it takes
all of 2 minutes to do, but for some this could be frustrating.

If you Google search, Free Easy Watermarking, you will find many different
programs to choose from. I looked at many of them, some look pretty straight
forward & easy & some require a download & look a bit more confusing.
Visual Watermark has a one time fee of $20, but looks like it has all
the features I would want from a watermarking program.

I found some good tutorials on-line about watermarking
& wanted to share them with you.

BYTESCOUT shares a tutorial using Widows Paint

ABOUT.COM has a simple tutorial with several programs included

OBSCURED CLARITY blog shares a tutorial for Mac users

Like I said in the beginning,
I hope I didn't confuse you more then inform you! ;)
Bottom line, copyrighting my images is up to me.
Protecting my intellectual property is my responsibility.
And the reality is, if someone really wanted to, they
could crop out my watermark & do anything they wanted
with any of these images. Am I worried....ahhhh, NO!
I'm too busy researching my family's genealogy on,
but that's a whole other story!!
Big Hugs...


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pinterest Controversy, Oh No!!!

{all photo's from Pinterest}
Here I sit at 5am in the morning, unable to sleep any more.
The wind is howling on my mountain top.
I laid in bed for hours just listening to it
whipping wildly through the pines.

As my coffees brewing in the pot,
it's rich aroma stimulating my thoughts,
I think to another situation that seems to be brewing
on the horizon. It seems Pinterest has a bit of controversy
regarding Copyright Infringement...yikes, really.

As I understand it, Pinterest pinners are pinning pictures...
{sounds like a crazy tongue twister to me, lol}
that some original owners don't want pinned.
They feel their copyright & ownership of this content
is being infringed upon. If their photograph is going to
be used in a blog post, like I'm doing right now,
they want to be asked permission first. 

Now this isn't everyone, just some.
I mean I DO get it. I do get that original art work is the sole
property of the artist. I know there are unscrupulous people
out there that claim other people's art as their own, or even
copy & try to sell it. Not only is that incredibly wrong & rude,
it's incredibly illegal too! But do I think that's what most of
the people on Pinterest are doing? No, I do not.

{magnolia pearl by vintagesusie}
An example with photography. I took the picture above at Marburger
in the Magnolia Pearl booth...I ADORE all of her ruffles. I posted it
on my blog along with many other pictures of my trip to Texas. The
reality is, as soon as I uploaded this image onto the internet it was no
longer just mine. Anyone could Google my blog or Google Maggie Pearl
& they could have it in minutes to do with as they want. If it was
important to me that no one use this photo & claim it to be their
own, which it was not, I would have 'watermarked' it.
'Watermarking' is a great way to make sure your
photo is referenced back to you.

I guess my thought is, long before Pinterest was even created,
people were going onto the internet & saving favorite images directly
to their computers & what they did with those images has always been
hard to control. I know copyright is a very important issue, but I don't
think we can be naive enough to think we can mandate, legislate or
sue users or the internet into submission. That would be like trying
to control the tides or hold back the hands of time.

Along with amazing technology, comes a lot of personal responsibility.
What we can do is be careful about what we put on the internet, because
once it's never goes away. If there is any question that an image
may be used inappropriately, watermark, watermark, watermark.

I LOVE Pinterest! I really do!!!
To me Pinterest is a site filled with beauty, inspiration & life.
It inspires me to want to sew, knit, paint, wire, solder & pound.
It ignites the wonder in me as I research vintage clothing, jewelry,
costume design, the Victorian era & Tsar's & Tsarina's. 
It has introduced me to so many new creative people & places
where inspiration resides. It has helped people find me &
encouraged them to take a look at my blog & websites.

Pinterest can also be great free advertising for smaller businesses
& I love that too. I have already bought several things that I've pinned,
that I was able to link back to their original source.

So, here's my answer to the Pinterest Controversy. Pinterest is trying to
address the copyright issue. If you go to the Pinterest Blog, they have a html
code that you can add to any website that you don't want to have pins taken from.
I am going to try & only pin images that have an original source, not just Google.
I like pinning from etsy when someone has something for sale. I feel that may
give a seller an edge & help encourage more creative etsy product images. If
I use an image on my blog, I will make sure I link it back to it's original source.
And finally, if I add an image to the web that I'm concerned about people copying
inappropriately, I will WATERMARK it. There, I've solved World Peace!! LOL

We, the Pinner's, are all kindred spirits.
We are looking for beauty in everyday life.
We are sharing our joys & our passions.
We are the visionary's. We are the doers.
We are the dreamers.
Now go forth & PIN!!!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Haute Couture & Vintage Fashion Design, Ooh la la

I have no idea why, but lately I've been fascinated with
The History of Fashion. I spend a lot of my Pinterest time
looking at vintage clothing design & have fallen in LOVE with
Old Clothes. I think it comes from my LOVE of Magnolia Pearl
& realizing how much of current design is just a new version of
something old & fabulous.

Believe it or not, the first picture is of a newly designed Haute Couture gown.
Looking at it, it seemed I had saved a vintage outfit in my Pinterest board
called Vintage Rags that looked very similar. I'm getting a whole
new appreciation for the beauty of couture gowns.

Here again, classic styling with a big, beautiful brooch...
now what does that remind me of?

This gorgeous vintage lace, high neck tea gown from the early 1900's.
I could even see the brooch working perfectly on this beauty.

When I saw this Valentino gown from the 2012 spring line,

I new I had seen a couple amazing vintage dresses that had a
very similar style & look to them. {gorgeous detail}

I ADORE both of these, they are sooooo amazing!
The one above is an afternoon dress from 1905...

& this is an Irish lace coat from the same year...swoon.
Look at that lace work friends, literally to die for. I would so wear
these, maybe over a pair of jeans or Magnolia Pearl bloomers

A lace couture dress...

& an American lace dress made in & around 1907.

Another current couture ball gown overflowing with tulle...

& a vintage ball gown with ruffles of tulle,
aren't they both just glorious?

Soft layers of tulle will forever be in style,
whether it's 2012 or...

1957, the year after I was born.  ;)

This dress is completely glorious, I adore it too..
one of Elie Saab's couture gowns...

but, so is this vintage 1950's Cotillion Party Dress.
So here's the big surprise friends...
that this So Cal born & breed beach girl, who is the epitome of
jeans, a tank top & flip flops & always has been, is seeing the
beauty & drama & glory of fabulous clothing, vintage & couture.
That there is more IN common with newly designed couture &
classic vintage, then NOT & my appreciation of both is at an
all time high. I just swoon for a lacy, tulley ball gown whether it's
Worth or maybe it's not that I was born in the
wrong era like I always thought, but more that I was born in
the wrong income bracket. If I was filthy rich I'd be sitting front
row at the great fashion shows around the world, buying
couture for my closet & antique/vintage for my museum. LOL