PictureCorrect.Com – How to Protect Your Photography Online

How to Protect Your Photography Online

When it comes to protecting your online photography there are many ways to prevent people from copying or distributing your artwork.

lombard street san francisco

Lombard Street, SF

Protecting Your Imagery:

If you are like me you have probably uploaded your precious photography at one time or another to either your own website / blog, or to an online gallery such as PictureSocial, 500px or Flickr. The benefit to showcasing your imagery is obvious, you want visitors to see your work, but you want your work to be secure and represented the way you want and, importantly, where you want.

Locating photography being used without your permission.

Google Images

The first thing I recommend is to visit the mighty Google Images page. Where Google.com is unmatched for searching textual data, Google Images is the king of pixel based searching. Google Images utilizes a special algorithm to find imagery that is exactly your work and imagery that is visually similar. The interesting thing with Google Images is that you can drag and drop your photos directly onto the search bar. Of course, if you want to be boring, you can always just use the camera icon.


TinEye is another reverse image search engine. Very similar to Google Images but it offers many additional services including the ability to register your imagery. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist.

Additionally, you can use it as a tool to locate higher resolution versions of imagery (which seems extremely hypocritical considering the nature of this article – but, I digress). Either way it’s tremendously useful for tracking down your online imagery.

Steps to Protect Your Photography From Being Stolen:

Watermarking is one of the most critical anti-plagiarism tools that you can deploy to combat the theft of your work. First off, it’s free and it solves 2 issues at once. One being that it visibly demonstrates that you want your work protected and that it’s not free or licensed for distribution. Secondly, it provides a level of self promotion back to your blog or online gallery which enhances the opportunity that your work will be credited or for that matter you get new clients / fans or stalkers.

central park

Central Park, NY

Where there are many options for watermarking including visible and invisible the standard for most photographers is to add your name to the bottom or side of your image. I personally recommend that you add your website / blog or online gallery like 500px or Flickr to your watermark.

The option of visibly watermarking your image comes in 2 forms. One being my preferred method, a simple stamp at the bottom or along the side of your image. It’s a tasteful way of claiming ownership without obstructing the image. This way the experience for the viewer is pristine and if done correctly it will not steal any attention from your artwork.

The second version is the full image watermark. This method is reserved for those that absolutely want to maintain full control of your imagery. Unfortunately, this technique also obscures the photo and in my opinion ruins the ability to appreciate the art. However, I have used this watermark technique for a client that knew their work would be stolen. You can often see type of watermarking being used in stock art photography. Of course if the person stealing the image really wants they can take the time to clone out most watermarks albeit it’s never really done well.

Making a Legal Difference

If your watermark is removed by someone you have a case under the copyright law for infringement which can provide additional damages against the accused violator. You can reference – 17 USC § 1202 – Integrity of copyright management information.

new zealand

Photo location NZ

Metadata – The Good and the Bad

Many photographers are aware of the hidden data that is embedded into your digital files. One being EXIF which stands for “Exchangeable Image File Format” and is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras and now smart-phones, scanners and other systems. The other 2 forms of metadata that can be embedded are IPTC “International Press Telecommunications Council” and XMP “Extensible Metadata Platform”.

What Makes Metadata Amazing

Let’s talk about the good part of metadata. For one unless it’s deliberately removed it’s permanently attached to your image. In terms of this article, which is preventing photographic piracy, this is a digital blessing. Not only does it keep track of your cameras technical data, it also contains your copyright information.

Continuing on the plus side of meta data is the ability to add keywords to your photography. The value that this adds is often overlooked by most photographers. While the debate is out on if metadata is used by search engines, I have found through my experiences that it enhances SEO. I will be covering this with an article in the future.

horse in new zealand

Friendly horse in Glenorchy, NZ

Adjusting the Copyright Info in Your Camera

Most DSLR camera’s today will allow you to add some metadata directly into your photography via a menu in your camera settings. This ensures that every shot made with your camera is injected into the digital thread of your image. This is something that I HIGHLY recommend that you do.

Typically you can add several lines which include your copyright, name, and URL. While most photographers add this info when they are processing their imagery I prefer to have the data embedded to avoid forgetting to attach it later on.

Never Upload a Full Resolution Photo

If you are planning on uploading imagery to your blog or to your favorite social media site I recommend, more than any other tip on this page, to hold back from uploading the original resolution. For example, if I shoot with my Canon 7D at full res–18 mega-pixels–I will only upload, at the most, a 4 mega-pixel photo to any social site or online gallery. I tend to keep my imagery at about 1200px on the longest side for most of my online portfolio work.

First off, there have been many photographers lately who’ve had their work ripped off of social media only to be used overseas for stock art companies which sell the photos without paying you. Secondly, you can prove that the image is absolutely yours in the case that someone claims that they took the photo. Understandably, you can up-res photos to mimic a higher resolution but pixel peepers will be able to distinguish the fake.

Unless you’re selling your imagery online for digital prints or canvas work I would stay away from larger imagery. It just opens the door for digital thieves to plunder your talent.

lake wanaka

Watersports Flyer over Lake Wanaka, NZ

Ongoing Photography Vigilance

Google Alerts

This is a gem of a tip. If you are serious about keeping track of your imagery then Google alerts may be one of the best hidden tools you can utilize. Google Alerts allows you to set up keyword triggers that sends you an email based upon the criteria that you enter. In essence it can monitor the Web for the exact content that you want.

This basically turns Google Alerts into your own personal spider bot. You can use it to enter your name, (I would use quotes to surround any specific term–for example, I have one set for my name “Erik Sacino”– this weeds out getting false readings). Also, you can search for specific names of your images. You will want to make sure that you have a good nomenclature established to differentiate between your imagery and others. In the past, I have used a special alphanumeric combo such as “dragon_one_solargravity_3s88z2g3q.jpg. The chances of someone using “3s88z2g3q” is pretty rare and you should have no problem finding your work.

Give All of Your Photos a Unique Name

The interesting thing that I have found is that most digital thieves will not rename the photo. This works in your favor.

Additionally, I have discovered that when people steal your work they often rip the description directly from your image. This is actually a good thing since you can digitally tattoo your own words.

downtown la

Downtown LA

My Example of a Unique Description Trigger

“This photo represents one of the most spectacular evenings I have ever photographed. The cloud to sky ratio, the majestic colors, the open field that I was in, all these variables aligned for me this evening. I knew at the time that this combination would only happen a few times in my life.”

In Google Alerts I have set up an alert to trigger on the phrase (notice the quotes) “cloud to sky ratio, the majestic colors, the open field”. This unique combination of words is as unique as a special 56 digit alphanumeric when used.

In Conclusion

With a few easy steps you can really make a difference in preventing your photography from being uncredited or, even worse, sold online without your knowledge. Remember to watermark your imagery and to embed your copyright info into your metadata. Using a passive search tool like Google alerts will help assist you in your battle to guard your intellectual property.

times square

Times Square, NY

About the Author:
Erik Sacino is a motion artist, tech geek, photographer, blogger, designer, science fanatic, author, marketing addict and perpetual dreamer // visit his blog and discover more (www.solargravity.com). If you’re interested in reading how you can read your Metadata or strip the info out of your photos visit for further info.

Go to full article: How to Protect Your Photography Online

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – These Photos of a Ukrainian Roofer Will Give You Vertigo

These Photos of a Ukrainian Roofer Will Give You Vertigo

When people think of being a professional photographer, they don’t often think of it as being a high risk career. But, once taking a look at these photographs one might reconsider. The subject, aUkrainian roofer, risks his life by climbing and hanging from towering buildings and scaffolding. The brave photographer follows suit, putting his own life in danger to create the images you see below:

ukrainian skywalker

man risks life by hanging from side of building

brave photographer captures friend

Ukrainian roofer photos

extreme roofer captured in photographs

man climbs buildings with no harness

photographer seeks birds eye vew

daring photographer suspended above city

extreme sports photography

thrilling photography

incredible photos of roofer

skywalking photos

Many find the images nauseating to look at, much less partake in; however, it appears as though these types of high risk activities are on the rise. The Ukrainians are not the first to do this type of stunt. In fact, this group of daredevil photographers is not unlike the group of Russian skywalkers we featured in a previous article. These collections make you ask yourself: At what point does getting the photo stop becoming worth it?

Go to full article: These Photos of a Ukrainian Roofer Will Give You Vertigo

What are your thoughts on this article? Join the discussion on Facebook or Google+

Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – Don’t Be Afraid Of High ISO on Modern DSLR Cameras

Don’t Be Afraid Of High ISO on Modern DSLR Cameras

This article is written by Andrew S Gibson, author of Understanding Exposure – a guide to controlling your camera to achieve perfect light exposures.

As the internet grows and grows, photography tutorials are becoming more and more abundant. All that information can be a good thing, but it can also create problems as it sometimes has the magical effect of turning one’s opinion to fact over time. Read around about digital photography and you will come across the ‘stock’ advice that some people give. Over time, this gets repeated until it becomes part of the conventional wisdom about photography.

One of these is in relation to ISO. The usual advice is to use the lowest ISO possible when you take a photo. There’s a good reason for this, as the image quality is always higher at lower ISOs than higher ones. But, what the authors don’t mention is that the quality at high ISOs on modern DSLR’s is now very good indeed.

dont-be-afraid-of-high-iso-2Given that high ISOs, especially if combined with prime lenses, enable you to take photos with a hand-held camera in low light conditions, when the quality of light can be amazing for subjects like portraiture, I think they are worth experimenting with. Embrace high ISO. Use it whenever the light is low. It depends on what camera you have, but you may be surprised how little noise there is at ISO settings like 1600, 3200 and 6400, especially if you follow the tips presented later on in this article.

ISO Improvements

There are several factors that make the high ISO settings more usable on recent digital cameras:

  • Sensor technology and noise reduction. For example, the latest EOS cameras use the DIGIC V processor. The DIGIC V is faster and more powerful than previous versions and one of the benefits of this is that it’s better at reducing noise when you use the JPEG format (if you use RAW, noise reduction is carried out by your RAW processing software instead).
  • Sensor size. If you have a full-frame camera it produces images with less noise at high ISO’s than cameras with APS-C sensors. (All of the photos in this article were taken with a full-frame EOS 5D Mark II).
  • Better software. The noise reduction algorithms in the latest versions of Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop work amazingly well. As RAW processing software gets better over the years, so does its noise reduction function. (The photos in this article are processed with Lightroom.)


High ISO Techniques

There are a couple of things that you can do to help avoid excess noise at high ISOs. These apply no matter which ISO setting you are using, but the improvement in quality is more noticeable at high ISOs than low ones.

Expose to the right. This requires that you set an exposure that gives a histogram that leans all the way to the right without crossing the right hand side of the graph. In other words, there are no clipped highlights. This technique works well in low contrast conditions when the brightness range of the scene is less than the brightness range the camera’s sensor is capable of recording.


Aim for your photographs to be exposed more the right side of the histogram, trying to avoid clipping.

In the above example, I was able to increase the exposure by two stops over that recommended by the camera without clipping any highlights. This was made possible by the low contrast of the scene.

Post Processing

Take care in post-processing. If you lighten an area of your photo that is dark, you increase noise levels. The higher the ISO used, the more noticeable this is. If you have dark areas in your image, it’s best to leave them that way. Incidentally, you can make light areas darker without increasing noise, and this is one of the reasons that the expose to the right technique works.


Using Texture To Reduce Noise

Be aware that you will get noise in blue or black skies. Noise shows up most in areas without much texture, such as sky. It is also more pronounced in the blue channel. If you take a photo at high ISO and include blue sky or the night sky in the image, you will see a lot of noise in the sky. I don’t want to put you off taking photos that include sky (such as the one above) as you can create some beautiful images that way, but you should be aware that they will contain more noise than photos without sky.


Alternatively, if you take photos of something that contains a lot of texture, such as the books in the photo above, the texture has the effect of obscuring noise. Using the noise masking capabilities that texture has on an image can effectively boost the quality of your high ISO photography when it is taken into consideration during the composition phase.


Grain and digital noise can be used as a creative tool

A little critical thinking and you may be able to visualize new ways to frame your photograph so the texture is at its most beneficial position inside the image.

Use Noise Creatively

With early digital cameras noise was so pronounced, even at low ISOs, that most photographers wanted to reduce or eliminate it. But, now that high ISO performance has improved so dramatically, maybe it is time to start exploiting the aesthetic qualities of high ISO?

For example, photos taken at ISO 3200 and 6400 on my EOS 5D Mark II and processed in Lightroom 4, such as some of the images used in this article, have qualities similar to that of grain on fast films. Photographers like Sarah Moon and Robert Farber used high speed film and grain to create beautiful, evocative images in the seventies. Their subjects predominantly included portraits and the female nude. Maybe the day will come when a photographer makes their mark by using high ISO creatively the same way?

Get creative and start experimenting with whatever DSLR you have, you may discover new ways that you can use digital noise to add drama to and even enhance your photographs.

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – How to Gain Your Client’s Trust as a Photographer

How to Gain Your Client’s Trust as a Photographer

There are a lot of things that make for a great photographer. Understanding composition, light, and the technique required to make a great picture are only part of the puzzle. One of the most important aspects of being a really great photographer is being able to make your clients feel comfortable in front of the camera. Some people have a natural gift for this, but some don’t come by this gift so easily. Here are just a few things you can do to help your clients feel at ease in front of your lens.

"Model" captured by Trandinhkhiem. (Click image to see more from Trandinhkhiem.)

“Model” captured by Trandinhkhiem. (Click image to see more from Trandinhkhiem.)


If you, yourself, are tense… odds are your clients are going to feel that. The easiest way to help others to relax is to relax yourself. Stand up straight when you talk with them; it portrays confidence. If you portray yourself as confident in your craft, this will also help your clients feel comfortable.

Choose Your Words Wisely

The way you speak can have an impact on how your clients perceive you. Saying “um”, “like”, and “uh” can give the impression you don’t really know what you’re doing. You also never want to say “whoops”, “uh oh”, or “that doesn’t look good”. You will never imbue confidence into your clients if they catch you muttering dissatisfaction to the LCD screen on your camera.

Give Guidance

Most people are not comfortable in front of the camera. They don’t know how to pose themselves or what to do with their hands. You are the expert. You are the professional. Take control and help guide them into poses that are going to be flattering. The more you take control and help them, the more relaxed and natural they will feel.

"Sunny Girl 2" captured by Tracy DePaola. (Click image to see more from Tracy DePaola.)

“Sunny Girl 2″ captured by Tracy DePaola. (Click image to see more from Tracy DePaola.)

Be Yourself

People are more likely to be comfortable and act natural in front of your camera if you are yourself. Don’t try to be anything you’re not. Be yourself. If someone hires you, it’s because they like you and your work. So be yourself, so your clients can be themselves.

Be Ready to Shoot

The least professional thing you can do is show up to your shoot without the equipment you need–batteries not charged, memory cards full. The best way to approach a shoot is to have already talked to your clients about their expectations, know the location, and be prepped and ready to go. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a tardy photographer who is not ready to go.

Be Aware of Boundaries

Not everyone is comfortable being touched. Always ask permission before touching a client, even if it’s something small like brushing their hair out of their face or adjusting their hand. You never know what a person might be uncomfortable with, so avoid this by asking permission first.

Show Them A Few of the Pictures

Not everyone agrees with this advice. But I often find that if my client is nervous or doesn’t think they look good, showing them a few of the pictures we just took gives them an immediate confidence boost. Just make sure the pictures you show them are good pictures and ones you’ll be presenting them in the finished product.

"By The River" captured by Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva. (Click image to see more from Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva.)

“By The River” captured by Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva. (Click image to see more from Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva.)

So whether you have a natural gift for making a person feel at ease or if you struggle with it, you can see how these simple tips can help your clients feel more comfortable. Remember to be relaxed and confident and to always be yourself. Don’t forget to give your clients guidance and encouragement along the way and you are bound to see your clients relax and feel at ease in front of your lens.

About the Author:
Stephanie lives in Central, Illinois, is married to her best friend, Ryan, and enjoys the company of her rambunctious lab-beagle pup, Kit. She is the owner of Green Tree Media (http://www.greentreemediaonline.com) and is passionate about photography.

Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.