Be careful…watermark software can destroy resolution

Now, I can’t say every watermark software destroys res. I’ve only tested a couple of them. The both I tried destroyed res. I can’t tell you the name of the other software I tested. It was years ago I got an online demo and I trashed it out of disgust. This test is for UMark6 watermark software.

Generally speaking, I’m against watermarking. And to go a step further, I can say I hate watermarking. So why do I watermark?

Well, let me give you some backstory on it.

I was never into watermarking until a few years ago. I had invested 4.5 years making 48 Tumblrs…(remember them.) I had invested 6+ years contributing over a hundred thousand items to the Internet Archive. And previously I had worked as volunteer for Wiki Commons, contributing lots of material in over a year of service. What do all these places and many more have in common? They deleted my accounts and all my material was lost.

The Internet Archive was eventually mostly restored, but that was only a fluke. Someone I met by accident had pull at the I.A. and restored it himself. Otherwise nothing would have happened by the crew in Frisco. So after all that destruction of over a decade of work, I looked into branding my material so a record could hopefully be made that there was in fact such an Archive at one time if and when all plugs get pulled for my online work. And with the way things are going in 2021 that is a real possibility.

Always being short on time, I looked into bulk watermark software. Unfortunately it destroyed the res of the photos, so I gave up on it. I am of the school that online archival material should be a decent enough quality so a reasonable facsimile can be made from it if someday it is the last extant copy of the material. So I try and put up decent res archival material online.

Here are 3 image crops all made from the full res 7.57mb scan. The UMark6 image on top had a watermark text applied and was saved at full res, which produced a 4.53mb file. The amount of image quality loss by the reduction the UMark6 software applied is not what one would expect from such a small reduction. The Microsoft Paint image in the middle had a watermark text applied and was saved at full res, producing an upscaled 11.4mb file. The 3rd file is the crop from a full res scan used for both of these tests.

Crop of UMark6 watermark test 4.53mb (software reduced the 7.57mb image automatically)

Crop of Microsoft Paint manual watermark software 11.4mb (software upscaled the 7.57mb image automatically)

Crop of original scan 7.57mb – no adjustments

As I said above, I have not tested all the watermark software options. So you test them out for yourself to see if watermarking software is apropos to your work.

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Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Small Gauge Film Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Advertising Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. VHS Video Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Audio Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Social Documentary Photography

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