There are times in your life when you see something and think to yourself “why the hell didn’t I think of that?”. Marksta is one of those times.
Created by good friend and top photo and video journalist John D Mchugh, Marksta is a brand new app for iphone that allows users to watermark images that they’ve shot on their phone before they share it. Unlike other apps that claim to do the same, Marksta allows the user to adjust, tweak and arrange the watermark so that it compliments, rather than destroys the image. On top of the many levels of adjustment that you can apply to the watermark, Marksta also allows you to add a border of your size, style and colour to your frame.
At the moment, it’s so easy to share your images on twitter, instagram, flickr, facebook or tumblr but there’s no built-in way to stamp your ownership onto the images with this much sympathetic control. It really is clear when using it that it’s been conceived and designed by a working photographer rather than someone who has seen a gap in the market to fill. Another reason why I’m sharing the news about this app is that it comes at a time when the future is potentially uncertain regarding ownership of your shared photos. As those who follow my twitter feed will know, I have recently been trying to highlight the risks to the working photographer’s income that are currently being proposed under a review of licensing laws. One possible outcome could see images being free for anyone to use as long as the user has been unable to discover the copyright owner. If your metadata is stripped such as when a photo is uploaded to pinterest, what’s left to show that it’s yours?
John D has been interviewed for the BJP online today.
Here’s what he had to say about the project; “I developed the Marksta app because I was sick and tired of people stealing my work on the web,” Marksta founder John D McHugh says. “I often work in incredibly dangerous situations to show the world the stark realities of war and revolution. I can’t describe how frustrating it is to find my images online without any credit or byline.”
“Rather than fight what can’t be fought, 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 its mine, whether for payment or just kudos, I see no way other than to write my name on it. I know watermarked images have in the past been seen as unacceptable by the newspapers and magazines, but losing my entire career is just as unacceptable to me. And I’m not talking about crude and ugly watermarks, splashed across the centre of a picture. A simple ©John D McHugh placed carefully in the corner of the image, or better yet, on an added border, and the image is unaffected.”
On top of all of this, it’s only $1.99 so you have virtually nothing nothing to lose. It really is a great concept, executed very well indeed. Get it. Use it. Love it.