Tip: Adding a signature to your images with Photo Mechanic

Photo Mechanic 4.6.1 (still in public beta at this time, but available for trial download from Camerabits) offers a new watermarking feature that allows you to put a watermark image on exported images.  I’ve adapted this technique to put my signature on images that I can export as JPEGs directly from my NEFs without having to go through Photoshop first.

What you’ll need:

Step 1: Create your signature image file.  Scan your signature from a white piece of paper and then load the image in Photoshop.

Step 2: Make a new layer from the background in Photoshop so that you can utilize transparency.


Step 3: In Photoshop, use the Select Color Range tool to select the white background.
Step 4: Delete the background selection.  You should see the transparent “checkerboard” behind your image.   Note: to make your signature white, use Photoshop’s “Invert” command.  I have a black and a white version of my signature saved.


Step 5: Resize the image.  I chose a width of 150 pixels.


Step 6: Using “Save for Web and Devices,” save a copy of the image as aPNG-24. This mode offers the best quality; make sure the “Transparency” checkbox is enabled.


Step 7: Open Photo Mechanic 4.6.1 and select the images (NEF or otherwise) that you want to export and choose “Save.”


Step 8: Click the checkbox next to “Watermark” in the Save Dialog.  Then click the “Watermark” button to open the Watermark dialog.


Step 9:
In the Watermark dialog, enable the watermark feature and choose the location for the watermark image (usually the left or right corner). Make sure you check the box marked “Draw near outer edges”. Choose the PNG file you created as the source file for the watermark image.  Click OK.


Step 10: Complete the Save dialog operation by clicking “Save”.  The image will now contain your signature.

The finished result:


What’s really great about this approach is that I can add my signature to any image I want without having to open the NEF and convert to JPEG in Photoshop or another image editor.  This method really simplifies my workflow for creating web galleries or emailing images.


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