Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's YOUR cake photo!

I've only been doing cake decorating for about a year now and honestly I get my inspirations and cake design ideas from fellow cakers.  I've been watching tutorials I can find from the web and also look at photos and try to study how a cake was made.  But one thing I make sure is that I don't exactly copy a cake decorator's design and most importantly take their own photo and claim it as my own.  Now, I have been reading posts from cakers about so called cake thief. Cake thieves are people who take other caker's photos post those on their site and claim that they made those.   For me it's a very lame way to promote your skill and attract potential customers. And most importantly it is a very rude gesture for a lot of honest cakers, beginners or professional. We take pride at what we do and are proud to share what we have done in the hopes that other fellow cakers out there will find inspiration from our own creation. We don't want to get robbed in one way or another.

So, as our cake community in facebook has been discussing (please look up Way Beyond Cakes by Mayen and Stop the Cake Thief, like the pages) a step in protecting your work but still share to other's your work of art is by putting watermarks on pictures before posting it. There are many tools that you can use to do watermarking, just do a search in the internet and you'll find tons. There are pricey ones like photoshop which most professionals use and there are also lots of free ones that you can download or do it online.  You can achieve the same purpose of watermarking regardless of what software you choose.

So, in this post I would like to share to you how I watermark my pictures using Google's Picasa software.  It's a free software you can download from http://picasa.google.com/.  Once you've download, open the software and follow these simple steps in putting watermarks on your picture.

As the software launches you would probably get an empty workspace. At this point the pictures you wanted to put watermark on should already be in your computer. So to get started you need to import your photos to Picasa's workspace.

Click on the IMPORT button on the top left corner as shown above, this will open a new tab for import where you can specify the folder where you want the copies of the photo will be stored, see photo below.

Once you have entered the name of the folder you like, you can now choose where to import your photos from, see photo below.

This will open up a window so you can select the location of the photos you want to put watermark on.

Once you have selected the photos, it will show a preview of the pictures on the left side of the import panel, and you can click on the picture to show a bigger view on the right side of the panel.  From the list of photos on the left side of the import panel, you can further choose what photos to finally be saved on your picasa folder. See photo below for reference.

Once IMPORT SELECTED button was clicked and import of photos is done, you can now close the import tab and work from the main screen of the software.  On the left side will show you the folders of your photos and on the right panel you will see the preview of the photos. Much like a windows explorer.

Now you are ready to put watermark on the picture....  Double click the photo you wanted to work on and this will open up in edit mode.  You'll see 3 smaller tabs on the left panel named 'Basic Fixes', 'Tuning', 'Effects'.  You should be on the 'Basic Fixes' tab and on there you will see several icons for different tools.  You will need the 'Text' tool which has the 'ABC' icon.  See photo below for reference.

Once the edit tool was selected, the left panel will be replaced with EDIT tool options. It will also automatically show you a sample text on the picture.

You can click anywhere on the picture and start typing whatever you wanted to be as your watermark.

Now hover over the text and it will show some circle with units and a small arrow with a small circle tail.

You can pull that arrow left or right to change the size of your text.  You can also turn it up or down to put angle.  Refer to photos below.

You can drag the text to any location on the photo you want it to be.

When you are satisfied with the location of your text, you can adjust the text properties using the text editing tools on the left side of the panel. Like the color, the font or if you want it BOLD or in italics.

Then you can set the transparency of your text so that it will not totally block parts of your photo.  Use the slide bar on the left panel that has a label of 'Transparency'.

When you are satisfied with your watermark, click on the 'Apply' button on the left panel.

Then of course save your work.

You are now ready to upload your cake art with watermark on it.  Just remember the location of the photo that you have set when you did the import.  That is the location where you will select the watermarked photo that you will upload. 

Now you can at least feel that you have done your due diligence in protecting your photos. And make the cake thief's life harder if they still would want to steal your pictures!

If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave me a comment and I will try to answer you best that I can.

P.S. The cupcake tower I used as an example was made by my friends for my last birthday. :)

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