Create Transparent Watermarks in Photoshop
OK, Step 1 is to make a new transparent document, so go to the top menu bar and select File>New and choose your dimensions. Experiment, any size is really OK. Here I chose 1600 pixels wide by 200 pixels high. I want it to be good for the largest size display copy that SmugMug uses. It will also downsize well for the smaller display sizes, too. Be sure you are set for Transparent background.
Open your type tool's menu so you can select the font, font size, font color, and other properties. Here's where you get to make it personal! Again, you'll want to experiment with different typefaces, sizes, and colors. Avoid dark colors, and try for fonts that are very readable.
PS Elements Users: Your type and style choices are across the top of your screen.
Now, take your cursor which is now the type tool and click in your canvas, on the left-hand part of the canvas. Begin typing the text of your watermark. Again, experiment, it can be anything you like. This example is just my business name - but it could easily be
© Andy Williams - http://www.moonriverphotography.com
© Andy Williams - Reproduction Prohibited
To edit your text layer, use the type tool (be sure it's active by clicking on it in your tools pallette). Click the beginning or end of your text, and drag left or right to highlight the area. You can also use Photoshop's history state to simply "go back a step" and begin again.
Next step: Opacity. How prominent do you want your watermark to be? In the Layers Palette, you can experiment with opactiy of the watermark, try reducing it to 50% - it will look VERY LIGHT on screen, because this is a transparent document. Below you'll see examples at 100% and 50%. Make a few versions of your watermark, with different opacities, and see which one best suits you!
Next Step: Upload it to a gallery on your SmugMug site - this is typically a private gallery where you keep your site files (like your header image). But if you don't have one, just make a new private gallery and call it "Watermarks." Once it's uploaded, use photo tools (under the image) and select "make into watermark." Give it a name (e.g., watermark1) and save. Tip: use the Bulletproof uploader if you are having trouble uploading the png file. Next, to actually watermark a photo or an entire gallery, go to the gallery customization, and choose your watermark. Then, back in your gallery, photo tools>watermarking and choose your photo or photos, or the whole gallery. Apply watermark, and you're finished! Voila! 100% opacity.
Example with 50% Opacity. You'll want to experiment, and create either one watermark that will work well for you on portrait or landscape oriented images, or, use a separate one for each type. for a portrait image, try one that is vertically oriented, maybe 800x1200 or so. Click here to return to SmugMug Help - Custom Watermarks.