The Internet is now the most popular way of displaying images for both amateur and professional photographers. However it is also the easiest way of photographic theivery or misuse of copyright.
A few simple steps can reduce the chance of your images being used by others without permission.
1. Keep images small.
The bigger the image, the more versatile its uses. For most Internet uses, there is no need to make an image bigger then the size of the average computer screen, but it should be big enough to appreciate. A good size for most display purposes is a maximum of 600 pixels on the longest side of the image. Smaller if it displays well at a smaller size. This will prevent your images from being altered, for example removal of watermark or copyright mark.
2. Disable Save Picture As
Right clicking on an image in most web pages allows a person to save an image to their computer. This can be disabled on the webpage your image is displayed and in most cases will issue a copyright notice. However it is easily bypassed by experienced web users so it is only a preventative measure.
3. Double Layering
When dealing with your own website, a transparent box can be placed over your images. Then if someone attempts to save your image by right clicking, they will only save the transparent box.
4. Use the image Metadata to store your ownership information.
In an images Metadata file information can be added such as your name and details about the image including your claim to copyright. This will make the image even more identifiable as your own if it is found on someone elses website. However be sure not to include personal information that you do not want others to see.
5. Put your name visibly on the image (Copyright Mark)
Simply type your name on the image either across one corner. Alternatively it can be put across the whole image partially transparent so it doesnt take too much from the image. Not the prettiest result but it will deter those who might want to use the image for their own purposes.
None of these options will keep your images 100% secure. Remember once your image is displayed on a public website, it is prone to being copied and used for other purposes. However using at least one of these options will deter unscrupulous web users.
For more detailed information on preparing your images for the Internet please see our Digital Imaging Course.