Image © John D McHugh.
"I developed the Marksta app because I was tired of people stealing my work on the web," says Marksta's founder, John D McHugh, a photojournalist best known for his work in Afghanistan. "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, he says, "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 just kudos, I see no way other than to write my name on it."
To do so, McHugh enlisted the help of a developer to create an iPhone app that would streamline the process of adding a watermark to images. "Obviously, I can put a watermark in Photoshop on my laptop, but that means I have to have my laptop, I have to be able to download my pictures to my laptop, and I also need a fairly expensive programme and a certain amount of knowledge to do that – my wife can't do that, and a lot of my friends can't do that," he tells BJP. "Why can't I put my copyright information on images on my phone? Some developers have done it already, but you can tell these applications have been created by developers, not photographers."
The idea was to create an application for photographers, he says. "It's not just about protecting the commercial value of their photographs, it's also about protecting their moral rights. What I hope is that when you use the app, you feel it's just easy."
The app allows photographers to add any text they want to their images, with a choice of different fonts, colours and sizes. They can also add borders, without affecting the aspect ratio of the image.
Marksta is available now from the App Store, retailing at £1.49. However, for the first few days, the app will be free, says McHugh.
For more details and to download the app visit Apple's App Store
Image © John D McHugh
Image © John D McHugh
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