Adding watermarks to your photos is a great way to put your creative mark on your work. Watermarks provide a way to showcase your brand, and ensure that your work is not used without your permission. We made this guide to demonstrate how to create and apply watermarks to images in Exposure.

What is a watermark?

Watermarks take the form of semi-opaque images placed over the original photo. They may include your name, studio information, technical details, or your logo. Watermarks are a great way to establish your brand and connect with people that appreciate the work you do.

Adding watermarks to images is usually one of the last steps of the photo editing process, when exporting finished files. In Exposure, open the Export dialog with the menu or with ⌘+E or Ctrl+E. Watermarks can be assigned in the Metadata section.

Exposure user interface. Open the Export dialog to access the Metadata section. A text watermark is applied in this example. All photos © Alfie Goodrich

1 – Export to Folder Dialog

Set parameters for the handling of exported files, such as the save location, file type and settings, image size, and more.

2 – Metadata

Select to include metadata information about your studio, photos, and camera system.

3 – Watermark

Select a watermark preset to apply to exported files.

4 – Metadata Presets

Choose from presets that control the information embedded in exported files. These presets include parameters for all the tools in the Metadata panel, including watermarks.


Applying Watermarks

To apply a watermark to your images, select a preset from the dropdown in the Metadata section. When selected you can then preview the watermark on your image for sizing, placement, or other considerations.

Exposure user interface. With a watermark preset selected, use the magnifying glass to preview how the exported image will appear. This example uses a text watermark with low opacity.

Watermark presets can be placed into categories to stay organized. The insignificant amount of effort it takes to keep them tidy is a great way to keep your workflow quick and efficient.

1 – Watermark Preset

Lists the selected preset. The example uses the Alfie Goodrich watermark.

2 – Preview Icon

Hover over the magnifying glass to open the preview window.

3 – Preview Window

Displays how the watermark will appear on exported images.

Exposure user interface. Select from presets to apply watermarks to the images you export. Note the use of categories in this view to organize watermark presets.

1 – Watermark Categories

While saving custom presets, create categories to organize them. The example image lists preset categories organized by watermark item type.

2 – Watermark Presets

Select from the watermark presets you create.

3 – Edit Watermarks…

Click to open the Edit Watermarks panel where you create, edit, and save custom watermarks.


Designing Watermarks

Control the appearance of watermarks with the tools in the Edit Watermarks panel. Add separate items to develop watermarks with your own style. There are three watermark items available. Any designs can incorporate any number of text, images, and metadata items in various arrangements.

Save watermark presets for different uses, such as simply placing the studio name, or copyright to image. Another suggestion is to create a watermark that includes the image filename for use when printing contact sheets. Integrate watermark presets into your export process and save lots of time.

Exposure user interface. Edit Watermarks dialog. The tools on the left panel are how you manipulate watermark items.

1 – Watermark Item

Collapse the watermark tools when working with multiple items.

2 – Item Type

Set the item type. Use Text, Image, and Metadata watermark items.

3 – Save As…

Define the parameters set in the panel as a custom preset.

4 – Move/Rotate

Select and manipulate the placement of watermark items on the image.

5 – Add Watermark Item

Add an additional watermark item to include more information.

6 – Preview

Display of the current watermark settings on this panel.

Text Type

Text items are simple to use and control. You can place several lines of text on your photos. Each text item will have its own set of controls for font, style, size, and color. Set parameters for each item to create sophisticated arrangements. Once created, save the watermark as a preset and use it for exporting.

Exposure user interface. Edit Watermarks dialog. This example uses two text items.

1 – Text Item

Set these parameters to control the watermark items’ appearance.

2 – Disclosure Arrow

Hide or disclose the panel for each item. It’s a great way to save space on the screen.

3 – Font

Select from the fonts installed on your system.

4 – Style

Format the type for emphasis with bold or italics.

5 – Color

Set the color of the text. Click the color swatch or the Change button to define a custom color.

6 – Size

Scale the text with this slider. Use Proportional scaling, Fit to width, or Fill to height.

7 – Opacity

Set how much of the applied text you see. Lower the opacity to soften the appearance of the watermark item.

8 – Drop Shadow

Add shadow effects to emphasize the text items.

9 – Delete

Remove the watermark item.

Image Type

Image watermark items are useful for branded studios. Use this type of item to import and place logo files. Access previously imported image files from the menu, or select one from a new location. Set parameters to place and blend the image file. Flexibly combine various items together to design and create watermarks.

Exposure user interface. Edit Watermarks dialog. This example uses an image watermark item.

1 – File Selector

Import PNG, JPEG, and TIFF images. Use PNG and TIFF for areas of transparency.

2 – Size

Scale the image.

3 – Opacity

Set the percentage of how much of the image is visible.

4 – Drop Shadow

Emphasize the image with the added dimension from a shadow effect.

5 – Move/Rotate

Relocate and position the image item.

6 – Add Watermark Item

Place more items for the watermark design.

Metadata Type

Metadata watermark items automatically place data on the photo. Metadata information is usually written to images before editing begins. See our Opening Images video for more details on writing metadata to photos.

Metadata watermark items can include information such as copyright, studio name, or website url automatically. These items can also include technical information about the photo, such as the f-Stop and ISO, or the camera, lens, and serial number.

Exposure Edit Watermarks dialog. This example uses metadata items for Camera Make, Model, Exposure Time, and ISO.

1 – Studio Information

These fields are defined when importing images.

2 – File Data

Include file data on each image. File information, such as the image file name, is useful when communicating with clients to select finals.

3 – Photo Data

Include information about the camera settings of each capture. This is helpful for educational purposes such as writing a blog article.

4 – Camera Data

Include information about the camera gear used to capture the image.


As you can see, Exposure offers robust tools for creating beautiful watermarks for your images. And when exporting photos, you can have Exposure apply them to images for you automatically. This is another great way Exposure’s design saves you time.

Thanks for reading our guide. We hope you learned something new. If you ever need help adding watermarks to your images in Exposure, save a link to this article.

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