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  1. #1
    bobbroadbent
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    Protecting my Photographs from Manipulation
    I have started to provide my work to corporate and wedding clients on DVD and was very dissapointed when I learned that a client had messed with my photographs on photoshop. Can anyone help me find a solution where I can still provide my work on DVD for slideshow viewings, but does not allow anyone to tinker with or print my work.


    Thank you in advance

    Bob Broadbent

  2. #2

    cazabam's Avatar
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    How do you store the pictures on DVD? As individual picture files, or as a movie of the slideshow? If you store them as a movie and people are still taking the time to mess with stills, then there's not a lot you can do short of not distributing them. You could look into watermarking the image so you can tell if it's been modified, but that only helps if you find out after they have been changed.

  3. #3

    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    Unless you implement some for of encryption on your DVD's, there's not much you can do.

    Watermarking the images is of course also an option, but view naturally disturb their viewability.

  4. #4


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    Flash slide show with database imported images and not raw!

  5. #5

    slyseeker's Avatar
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    I agree, it's nearly impossible to protect work. Everything I know of is susceptible to screenshots, even encrypted DVD video.

    I think it's best to maintain your full rights and clearly state whatever legal circumstances folks risk by violating those copyrights or breaking whatever contract they have with you.

  6. #6


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    if people want to go through the trouble of screenshotting a 640x480 picture and editing in photoshop then they have some problems
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  7. #7

    mac57's Avatar
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    There are really only two ways to protect your work, and neither is foolproof. Hence, many people do not provide full size versions of their work except to clients who have paid.

    The first way, already discussed, is visible watermarking. There are standard Photoshop "recipes" available for creating a watermark and then applying it to all outgoing photos. However, as I am sure you know, anyone moderately skilled in Photoshop, and who has a desire to do such a thing, can always use tools such as the Clone Stamp and the Healing Brush and the Patch tool to effectively erase your watermark.

    The second and also imperfect way, but perhaps a little better, is to use Adobe Bridge to access the file's IPTC data (metadata in the file). In there, you can record your copyright and other details. I *think* that this information can be protected such that once recorded, it cannot be changed.

    You can find more details on both of the above in Scott Kelby's excellent "Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers". This book is aimed at professionals, and goes into some lengths about this sort of stuff.

    In the end however, the best protection is watermarking, and restricting the finished product to just those people who have paid for it.
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  8. #8

    dtownley1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trpnmonkey41
    if people want to go through the trouble of screenshotting a 640x480 picture and editing in photoshop then they have some problems
    I agree with that, but I'm pretty sure DVD res is 720x540 (that's PAL).
    Still, it's a terrible resolution to try to get photos from.

    Another alternative to watermarking, is to offer to make the changes yourself for the client (and get paid of course) - that way, the client gets what they want, and you can be more certain that no further changes will be made as they're satisfied with the result.

  9. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by Aptmunich
    Unless you implement some for of encryption on your DVD's, there's not much you can do.

    Watermarking the images is of course also an option, but view naturally disturb their viewability.
    It might be worth it to recall some history regarding Bob Broadbent's nightmare. The problem didn't begin with digital; it's been around for nearly 150 years, with only the medium changing.

    A copy shot using the correct camera, lens and film can make it very difficult to see the difference between a copy and the original print. Being analogue, these copies lack digital's perfection, but any small loss was never enough to end the practise, and those people happy with even butchered results outnumbered by far those who would pay for the real thing, then and now.

    I don't mean to diminish Bob Broadbent's problem, but it isn't new with digital, as I'm sure he knows. Thousands of photographers, those who shoot weddings, especially, are forced to accept these losses as retail stores must accept "shrinkage." Ideally, and as retail establishments do, he should prosecute if he discovers the theft. Doing so, of course, presents a whole new set of problems.

    There's no magic bullet to stop the piracy, and there never has been. Fat lawsuits, though, help, especially if the guilty party is some corporate entity operating with two-bit ethics.

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