Digital Photography Tips, Tutorials and Resources
Want to know how to add a watermark to your images in Luminar’s photo editing software? This guide will take you through the steps on how to create a watermark in Luminar to your images.
We’ll also look at other topics surrounding watermarks, including:
- Why add a watermark to your photos?
- How to design your own watermark
- Steps to creating a watermark in Luminar
- How to create your own Luminar presets for making watermarks
- Which tutorials will help you create your own watermarks in Luminar
Why Add a Watermark to Your Photos?
Lots of photographers choose to add watermarks or logos to the images they capture. I’m not one of them, but I can understand why they would add watermarks.
Watermarking is essentially adding your own branding or logo during editing process to the photos you produce. It serves two purposes.
One, whoever sees the photos knows who took them. That way, if they like what they see, they can get in touch with that photographer.
The second reason watermarks are important is that they discourage others from stealing others’ photos and passing them off as their own. I have never had an issue with image theft, nor has anyone I know. But, in this internet age, it may serve you to protect your work from being stolen and used for free on blogs or websites.
But, photographers should be careful when creating watermarks so that they don’t look too big and too clumsy. Sometimes, a clunky watermark can actually ruin the look of the photo it’s meant to protect. That’s why it’s important to design and choose your watermark carefully so that it does its job without being obtrusive.
A simple, small bit of text or a logo down in one corner is really all that you need to make a great watermark. Of course, that’s just my personal preference, so feel free to ignore it! Luckily though, adding a simple watermark in Luminar is super easy.
How Can a Watermark Protect Your Photos?
Watermarking will protect your work from lazy thieves who don’t want to go through the hassle of removing your logo in an image editor. Sure, those who are skilled in image retouching can remove watermarks pretty easily, but most opportunistic art stealers aren’t going to take the time or effort.
The quickest and simplest way to protect your images with watermarking is to overlay some text on your image. In your preferred editing software, you can then blend the text into the base photo by reducing the opacity of the layer.
You can also find free watermark apps on the internet, but these free versions aren’t necessarily very pretty. Some of these programs allow you to customize your watermark for a fee, but you’ll have to decide if this feature is really worth it when creating your own is so simple.
There are also specialist watermark software apps you can get on your computer if you want to create watermarks in bulk or batch process them onto your photos. Using these apps is quicker, because you don’t need an internet connection to upload your photos.
If you don’t want to buy watermarking software, Photoshop or even GIMP will do a decent job of designing and batch processing watermarks. If you already have these photo-editing software, you don’t need to buy extra apps to create or add watermarks.
Steps to Creating a Watermark in Luminar
Before you start, you’ll need to already have your logo watermark saved on your computer. You can’t actually create a watermark in the Luminar photo-editing app, but you can add one to your images.
The reason you can’t design and create a watermark in Luminar editing software is because it’s a photo editor, not a photo/graphic design editor like Photoshop. Luminar lacks a text tool or any of the other graphic design editing tools you’ll need to create a logo.
The best time to add your watermark in Luminar is at the end of your editing process, so edit your RAW files, TIFF, or JPEGs first. Then, add presets and adjustments before you start the watermarking process.
Because you can’t design your own logo in Luminar, I’m going to show you how to make one in Free Logo Design and download it for adding to your images in Luminar. There are lots of free and premium apps online for creating logos, but I like the simplicity of Free Logo Design.
1. Find your preferred logo or watermark design app
Design your logo as you wish. I found a very simple design that I think will work well on a photo:
Once you’ve finished designing your watermark, you’ll have to download it to your computer for the next stage. Try to save it as a .PNG file, as they tend to blend better with photos than jpegs.
2. Open up Luminar
Crank up Luminar, and add your first image:
3. Add your watermark layer
Go to the Layers panel, and click the + icon on the right-hand side. Luminar will then give you choices for adding new layers. Choose the Add New Adjustment Layer option:
A new window will open up. Find your downloaded logo, and click Open. Files you download from the internet will normally go to your Downloads folder unless you have them set to a different one.
4. Resize the watermark
When your watermark file opens up on top of your base image, the logo will usually be far too big.
Go to the Layer thumbnail image and right click on it. I’ve highlighted the thumbnail in the screenshot below:
Choose Image Mapping from the drop-down menu that appears, and then Fit from the options. This will ensure that your logo doesn’t become distorted when you reduce its size:
Use the Free Transform tool to reduce the size of the logo.
You’ll find Free Transform along the top menu bar. Click Tools, and a drop-down menu will appear. Select Free Transform from the options.
Your image will then open in a new window. Before you start, make sure the little padlock icon in the top of the menu bar is orange. Click on it if it’s white to lock it. This will stop your image distorting during transforming:
Grab one of the corner handles and, while holding down Shift, drag the image down to a smaller size that suites you. To move it around on your base image, simply click in the middle and drag.
When you’re happy with the shape, size, and position of the logo, click Done. You’re well on your way to creating a perfect watermark in Luminar.
6. Invert Curves to change color of background and text
As you can see, my logo here is white with black text, which suits the type of image background I’m using since the logo will just be black text when I’m finished. But what if your photo background is black or another dark color?
You don’t have to make another logo. All you need to do is make a Curves adjustment to change the logo.
Go to Add Filters, and scroll down to the Professional section. Click on Curves, and it will open up in the Workspace on the right of the screen.
Invert the curves by clicking and dragging the black point on the bottom left up to the top left. Click the white point in the top right and drag it to the bottom left. Your Curves panel should look like this when you’re done:
As you can see, changing the curves has changed the logo from black on a white background to white on a black background. In the next step, we’ll remove the background color completely, leaving just the text and the border box.
In order to do this, we’ll need to change the Blending Mode.
7. Change Blend Mode
To make a great watermark in Luminar, we need to make our watermark more transparent. For this step, you’ll want to change the blending mode to Multiply. You’ll find the Blend Modes in the Layers panel. Click on the word Normal, and a drop-down menu will appear.
I had to first click on the background layer, and then on the logo layer again before Luminar would let me change the blending mode.
Then, scroll down the menu, and change the blending mode to Multiply. This will make your image transparent against the background layer.
If you have changed the logo by inverting the Curves as I have here, then try using Screen blending mode instead:
6. Reduce Opacity
You may be happy to leave it there, but if you want to blend your watermark in to your image more, try changing the opacity. Reduce the opacity by dragging the Opacity slider down until you like the look of the watermark.
You’ll find the Opacity slider on the right-hand side of the Layers panel:
This is my logo at 41% opacity:
And here’s how it looks on the whole image:
Here’s a close up of the un-inverted logo for black text on a light background:
That’s it, you’re done!
Easiest Ways to Create a Watermark in Luminar
The tutorial above is the adapted from Skylum’s own tutorial on creating a watermark in Luminar, and it’s just about the easiest way to do it there is.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you can create Luminar presets to add a watermark during photo editing. I tried several ways and none of them worked, plus there’s no tutorials for it on the internet. Maybe Skylum will find a way to make a watermark preset in future that will let you run some batch processing.
Still, it’s extremely simple to add a watermark in Luminar once you have your watermark or logo created. If you would rather do the whole process in one program, then you can design, create, and add a watermark in Photoshop. But beware, as it does take more time and effort.
Best Tutorial for Creating a Watermark in Luminar
It’s very easy to add watermarking and logos to your photos in the Luminar photo editor, but you will have to create your logo outside of Luminar first.
Watermarks aren’t to everyone’s taste, but they can add an extra level of protection for your precious photos online. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to use one or not.
I hope that this article was of some use to you, and that you will give the tutorials a go — even if it’s just to see how simple it is to do!