If you want to show your pictures online, it makes sense to add a visible watermark. It’s not just to stop people pinching your pictures and passing them off as your own because there’s another serious point – by the time it’s been re-posted, re-tweeted, re-pinned and re-blogged a dozen times, any indication of who actually took the picture can easily be lost. If somebody wants to credit you as the photographer (it does happen!) or get in touch to offer you work (that can happen too!), how else are they going to know who to contact?

But it’s tedious enough having to resize your pictures for web use in the first place, without having to mess around with watermarks too – isn’t it?

Not if you use Aperture (you can do this in Lightroom too, by the way). Aperture can export your photos in any size you like, but it can add a watermark image at the same time. All you have to do is design your watermark first and then tell Aperture where to find it. Here’s how it’s done.

01 Create a new document in Elements

Aperture export with watermark

I’m using Photoshop Elements to make my watermark. You need a program that can save Photoshop (PSD) files with transparent backgrounds. Let’s say I want to export web images measuring 1024 pixels in width or height, whichever is the larger. My guess is I’m going to need a watermark about 500 pixels wide, so I’m creating a document measuring 500 x 50 pixels.

Some of these dialogs are pretty small and I’m doing my screenshots on a high-resolution display, so if you need to see more detail, just click an image to see a full size version.

02 Type your watermark

Aperture export with watermark

I’ve typed in my copyright/watermark text, and Elements creates this on a new ‘Type’ layer. I can resize this to fit my image dimensions without losing quality because the text is vector-based, not pixels.

03 Delete the background layer

Aperture export with watermark

Now that I’ve got the Type layer, I don’t need the original white Background layer, so I can just drag its icon to the Trash in the Layers palette. Now the text shows up against a transparent (checkerboard) background.