A lot of photography articles out there are trying to scare you with a lot of reason why you need to protect your work with watermarks… I try to upload regularly a image to the Internet. I do not have any fear at all… So why don’t I use watermarks? I don´t like Watermarks they always look ugly. Whenever I look at a photo with a watermark, I only see that “thing”. Now, probably this is just me. But I don’t want to spend any time thinking about the watermark. I just want to look at the image. And, I think this is what people want “look at images”. Legitimate companies don´t use to steal images for commercial purposes. So I don’t have any fear there. There are services, like *Google Reverse Image Search* that can help to find my re-posted images. Image search and image recognition gets better and better in a very short time, there will be no need to watermark things. And yes I had bad experiences but a watermark would not have helped me at all.
I will start adding watermarks from now because I noticed that people were sharing my work by reposting on Facebook, and I was lucky to even get mentioned as the author, let alone get a link to my site. I don’t like the aspect of our internet culture where authorship is not respected or even acknowledged; where people greedily consume masses of visuals without understanding, or even noting, the origin. How would they be able to track me down to be able to learn more about my work, or buy a print, etc? If I leave my trust in people to credit me, and they don’t… so with the growing potential of carelessness on the vast web it´s perhaps not a bad idea to label your work. Registering all images with a legal copyright (as one must do individually to work so that it does not become deemed as an orphan work). Fact is, not everyone can afford time or money to do this. But living fearlessly watermark-less has its price. The more leniently you share your work, the more it will be take advantage of. So it is a sensible and simple step to add a subtle (or not than subtle) deterrent watermark…