How to watermark phone photos

If you like to post a lot of images on social media but don’t get around to watermarking them – the Samsung Galaxy’s One UI 5.0 operating system now provides a splendidly quick & easy option.

Open the camera app & follow this path:
– settings (the knurled wheel)
– watermark
– enter the letters/numbers you want, then choose the font style & alignment (position)
– turn it on (it’s quick to turn on & off the watermark whenever you like – just a toggle switch).

If you want to remove the watermark from a phone image:
Open the camera app:
– find the image & tap to open it
– tap the pencil (edit) icon
– revert
– save

The classic white chalky cliffs of the south eastern English coastline. Taken on a Samsung S23 Ultra, zoomed in by approx 30x.

The watermark is apparently applied as a layer after the image has been taken, so it is easy to remove from the image when it’s still on the phone.
For me this is manna from heaven as I typically take more than a thousand phone images a week when travelling – and I always intend to choose then watermark then post some…and just don’t get around to it. So thousands of my best phone images never see the light of day – except in workshops. Now, the job is done in camera so bam, anything can go online whenever.
The pic below was taken in south eastern England a couple of weeks ago. It’s zoomed in by approx 30x so not big wall print level of detail – but it’s fine for small screen use. When taking images it can pay to bear in mind the watermark placement if that’s important to you. EG this image watermark would be better if positioned wholly over the grass in the foreground, so the tail end wasn’t lost in the white cliff background. However, my preference is to always prioritise the story; and that means choosing the perfect composition, Watermark placement is secondary. If I wasted time faffing around with that I’d get a lot fewer good images and a lot less travelling done.
Some people whinge about watermarks being distracting, ugly, whatevs – but viewers aren’t paying to see images posted on social media, so I say stiff biscuits…happy to take payment for anyone who’d like a copy with no watermark 😆

Why add a watermark?
– anchor you as the author to the image – globally, in perpetuity
– are a reminder that the image is not for anyone else to use without permission (& probably, payment – if it’s worth using, it’s worth paying for, even if nominal)
– can help drive traffic to your website (or social media channel)
Yes watermarks can be removed via software, but watermarking images is like the difference between locking your car and leaving it open; the former is a deterrent, the latter is an invitation to thieves. If there’s a legal dispute there’s no prize for guessing whether watermarking will make your case easier to prove!

Last airshow for 2023, at the Duxford Imperial War Museum, UK. Taken on a Samsung S23 Ultra, zoomed in – probably either 20x or 30x. Panning fast moving objects when zoomed in requires a lot of practice.

During photography workshops – whether mobile phone photography or aerial photography via drones – we discuss copyright related issues. For example, what to do if someone uses one of your images or videos without your permission (& payment).
More workshop info can be found on other blog pages and website pages but if you have any queries, don’t hesitate to send an email to enquire.

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