I've been hearing from a lot of photographers that they're not automating as many things as they could in Lightroom and Photoshop as part of their workflow. There are soooo many things that you can let both of these programs do for you that make life so much easier and editing go so much quicker!!
Today I'll talk about how to create an action to watermark your images in Photoshop. This watermark action makes life soooooooooooo much easier!! I really love it because it works for ANY image: portrait, landscape, and for ANY ratio.
I'm basing this tutorial off of how I watermark my images. Yours are probably different but the techniques I use here will be very similar (if not the same) that you would do for setting up yours. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask me :)
To begin, load up one of your favorite images. I know the images are small so I've also loaded up bigger images that you can see if you just click the image.
1. The first thing we'll do is create a new action.
I'm going to call it "Watermark".
Once you've created a new action, the action will automatically start recording everything you do in Photoshop. This is great if you already know what you're going to do. If you don't, take some time to figure out exactly how you want your watermark to look like as well as a streamlined version of all the tasks needed to create it.
2. Now that we are recording for our "Watermark" action, we will first flatten our image. The reason for this is because if you happen to be working with a Photoshop file that has a lot of layers, it's much easier to get everything to line up when we start from scratch, in a sense.
After we've flattened our image, we'll want to record is to resize the image to be Web friendly. We're going to do this with the "Fit Image" command so that our action works on both landscape AND portrait photos of ANY size or ratio.
3. Now our image is the correct pixel size. But we also have to make sure that it's pixels/inch is set correctly too. To do that, use the "Image Size" command and set the pixels/inch to 72. Make sure you uncheck "Resample Image".
For the watermark, I use a stripe at the bottom of my image to help make my logo pop. The reason I do this is because it's clean and simple (which reflects my brand) and it works for ANY image. That way I don't have to fuss over where to put the watermark or if it works on a light or dark image, etc.
4. The way I chose to do this was to simply expand my canvas size.
Add an extra 20 pixels to the height of your image, and make sure to "push" the image up so the stripe ends up at the bottom.
5. Once you have the bottom stripe, create a border around the entire image. First, you will create a new layer for the border.
6. Select the entire image (CTR/CMD+A) and then create a border for the selection.
7. Once you have the border selected, Fill it in with black.
8. After that, delesect my border selection (CTRL/CMD+D). Then, create a new layer for your logo.
OK, from here we have a couple options. The easy way is to use the "Place" command to put your logo into your image. If you are using the Place command, skip to step 17.
The trickier (but more portable way) is to use a path. The reason for doing it this way is because you don't have to rely on an external file for your logo. Everything is encapsulated into your action. So if you have multiple photographers you can simply email your action to them and they can run it without any problems!!
9. The first thing we'll have to do is to STOP recording of our action. Then you'll want to open up Adobe Illustrator and open your logo file.
10. Once you've opened your logo file, select your entire logo and copy it to the clipboard (CTR/CMD+C). Now, return to Photoshop.
11. When you're in Photoshop, you'll want to Paste (CTRL/CMD+V). When the option dialog pops up, make sure you select "To Path".
12. Now you're going to want to move the path to the top-left corner of your image. This is because that point is consistent no matter what size or orientation your image is.
13. Once we have our path in the right location, we can turn our action recording back on.
14. Click on your actions palette so we can Insert the Path into our action.
15. To get the logo to actually show up on our image, we'll have to Fill in our path. It took me a few times playing around with different settings to get this to look right. What I ended up doing was making my logo in Illustrator, a little thicker than normal so when I Filled the path, the logo was thick enough.
16. Now, you can deselect your path to see your logo.
If you skipped the above steps and just Placed your logo, you can pick up here.
17. To get our logo into the right position, we're going to use the Align to Selection command. To do this, first select your entire image (CTRL/CMD+A). Then align to the bottom.
18. Then align to the right.
19. Once we've done this, you can nudge your logo into just the right spot.
20. At this point, I want my logo to be a little brighter white so I'm going to copy the layer (CTRL/CMD+J) a few times.
OK, everything looks good to me so now we're done! Here's the final image with the watermark.
And it works with portrait-oriented images too.
You can also add other things into your action. For example, I also setup image sharpening for the Web, change my color mode to enforce sRGB, change my bit depth to 8, etc. You can also add a save command and turn this into a droplet or run this action from Lightroom or Bridge.
Hope this was a helpful tutorial!