#CreativeFriday – Watermarks, Print Templates and Tethering into Lightroom

There are many times when an image or text is required to be overlayed on your images. This might be when an image is published to the web (in the form a a copyright logo/text), or maybe at an event where logos are overlaid and printed on the output. This blog post will explain how to set up text and graphics for an overlay, as well as including the overlay on a tethered capture.

Lightroom accepts both JPG and PNG files for watermarks, both of which are easy to create. We will use Photoshop CC to create a simple .PNG image overlay. The Benefit of using Photoshop CC, is that you can use anything for your image overlay and get it exactly where you need every time.


The first step is to think about the dimensions/size of the final output (you can change it later, but I find it best to design this early in the process.


The example used here is based on a standard 6×4 output.

First, open up Photoshop CC and create a canvas with an aspect ration of 6 inches by 4 inches, making sure that the background is transparent (this is import, as it will let the image be displayed through it (remember the watermark overlay will be above the image in it’s stacking order).


Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 13.34.16Photoshop CC will now show the transparent canvas

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Graphics and the like can be added to your overlay design. In this example, there is a simple piece of text (Font is coming from Typekit), as well as the Adobe logo and a white rectangle with a blurred edge.

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You can see that we have used the “Facit” font which has been downloaded as part of the Typekit Fonts.

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Save the template for Lightroom in the .PNG format. It’s also worth while saving the .PSD file as we may need to revisit it at a later time.

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Open Lightroom and head over to the Print module (Lightroom 5.4 is being used in this example).

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A new page setup will need to be created, to do this click on the “Page Setup” marked in Red below. For the image size that i’ve chosen in this example, a preset does not exist, so a new custom one will need to be created. Clicking on the “Manage Custom Sizes..” will take us to the custom page editor.

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A new page can be created by clicking on the “+” button on the dialog. Name the page preset as appropriate (in this case I have called it 6×4), then specify the width and height values.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 15.16.45To make it simple, this dialog uses Millimetres (MM), you can convert inches to mm by using the following calculation

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Press OK.

Inside the Print module of Lightroom (marked Red). You can see that the Single Image / Contact sheet (marked Yellow) has been selected. An image has also been loaded into the image area (done by selecting a picture) in the filmstrip. Within the Layout configuration (marked Purple) the margins have been zeroed, 1 row and column selected, as well as the cell size equalling the size of the page setup (6in x 4in (ruler units can be changed if required)).

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Open the “Page” tab (right hand side of the print module in Lightroom, “Watermarking” (Marked Red) has been enabled by clicking on on the tick box, then click on the “None” combo box to open the watermark selector. Notice there are already a few watermarks set up, and am able to call upon any saved ones when needed. To create a new one, select “Edit Watermark” (marked Yellow). The Watermark dialog will appear (marked Green).

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By default text might be enabled (radio button at the top of the panel). The text that is used for the watermark is shown and is editable on the bottom right hand side (under the picture). The Font can also be changed under the text options, including fonts from Typekit (which are now available if you are a Creative Cloud subscriber, if not then you can access a 30 day trial here).

To enable graphics, click on the Graphics radio button selector in the top right hand side of this panel. Then choose the .PNG file that  was created in Photoshop CC earlier.

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The transparent file will be shown over the example picture that was selected earlier.

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Under the watermark effects, physical attributes can be changed, i.e. Opacity, size (if the Photoshop page size was done correctly, this should need to be set to Proportional and 100%, otherwise, these can be adjusted), The anchor point can be changed as well, centre has been used on this example.

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But looking at the overlay, there is some of the underlying image missing, the original template needs to be changed to make the white rectangle more opaque,  just need to head back over to Photoshop CC and adjust the opacity of the white area. The adjustment is marked in Red below.

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Re-save the file as the .PNG version and re-load the image in to the Lightroom Watermark dialog. You can see the change makes more sense and shows the whole image.

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Before Save is pressed, you can update the current watermark or create a new one by opening the combo box (marked “RC (edited) above), at the top of the watermark editor dialog (shown below).

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Save the watermark. The image should update in Lightroom

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The print job can be set up as well, Printer configuration has been completed in the example, however, you can also create a JPG file as well from the result.

A Saved print can be made by clicking on the Create Saved Print button (marked Red below), then naming it and selecting the options.

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I would also recommend that a Lightroom template is made. Navigate to the Lightroom Print Templates and click on the “+”sign. Then name the template as needed and press Create.

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Once the template has been created a right click will update it with subsequent changes, as well as able to export and import other templates in other Lightroom’s (if you are transferring the templates, you might need to also transfer the image used for the overlay as well).


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One useful purpose and a trigger for this post is event photography, having images captured via tethering and having the watermark automatically applied. To do this, Plug the camera into the computer using a tether cable (or your preferred method). Head over to the library module and start tethered capture.

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Once tethered capture has been selected, you will need to select a few options (like the shoot name). This name will be used later to select the images captured.

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Press OK. The tethered tool bar will appear and should connect to the camera. Notice that a development setting can be applied at the time of tether, this will allow you to make your prints with a development preset already having been applied, giving your prints  finished look. Also, notice the name of the session appears on the left hand side of the Library module.

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To make sure that the print template is applied to the images that are taken in this shoot, a smart collection can be used to hold the images coming in from the camera (this is nice and clean, especially if you are showing clients that are with you in the shoot). Locate the collections panel in the Library module and click on the “+” icon, then select the “Create Smart Collection” as shown below (marked Red).

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The Smart Collection will need some more information (i.e. where to find the images), for this make a rule that will select all images where the folder name contains all of the words of the tethered capture shoot name, in this example “Studio Session 2”.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.35.21Head over to the Print module, select the newly made Smart Collection, the film strip should be empty. Any pictures taken on the camera as part of the tether should will be placed in this Smart Collection and have the template applied automatically. Markings in Red are the configurations in Lightroom, the areas marked Yellow will create the Print or the file.


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The last thing, is that the operator just needs to press CTRL+P and the result will be printed on the printer.



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