Photojournalist Develops Marksta iPhone App For Watermarks - Give Credit Where It's Due

By Alexandra Burlacu email: | Jan 06, 2013 04:47 PM EST

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People tend to share photos without attributing credit where it's due, but photojournalist John McHugh aims to change that with his new Marksta iPhone app.

Tired of seeing his images stolen and distributed nonchalantly on the Internet, McHugh sought the help of a programmer to make a watermarking app just for the iPhone. While photographers can protect their works by adding watermarks on computers, McHugh wanted to come up with an app that would not require a computer, and that could be used by anyone, regardless of skill. Marksta emerged to eliminate the need to transfer images onto a desktop or laptop to protect them.

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Basically, Marksta launched for the iPhone as an app that allows users to add watermarks to their photos, so when they see their work all over the Internet and social media services, they also see the proper attributes. Users can use text-editing tools to copyright their images, as well as add Twitter or Web site addresses to advertise their work.

"I developed the Marksta app because I was tired of people stealing my work on the Web," McHugh, who is best known for his work in Afghanistan, told the British Journal of Photography (BJP). "I often work in incredibly dangerous situations to show the world the dark realities of war and revolution. I can't describe how frustrating it is to find my images online without any credit or byline."

"I've tried to adapt my thinking to the cold hard reality that as soon as I post a photograph online it will be copied, shared and posted around the world. If I want people to know it's mine, whether for payment or kudos, I see no way other than to write my name on it," explained the photojournalist.

McHugh further notes that one can use Photoshop on a PC laptop to put a watermark, but this entails carrying a laptop, and it also requires a fairly expensive program that not everyone knows how to operate. With Marksta, the idea was to develop an app for photographers, so they can put their copyright information on images straight from their phone.

Marksta is now available from the App Store for $1.99 (£1.49), and is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4/ 4S, iPhone 5, third-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPod touch, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the iPad. The app requires iOS 5.0 or newer, and is optimized for the iPhone 5.

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