How to Remove a Watermark Image From a Photo

Written by william carne
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How to Remove a Watermark Image From a Photo
Like a signature, a watermark identifies the creator of a photograph. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Watermarks on photos, like those used on paper, are images superimposed over a main photograph. They are used as an artist's signature, to prevent copyright infringement or to transfer other information as needed to the viewers. Although they are relatively easy to remove with any quality image-editing software like Adobe Photoshop, you should first ask yourself why the watermark is there, and depending on the mark, is it legal or moral to remove it?

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Load your image editor and open the file you wish to work on. Zoom in on the watermark.

  2. 2

    Select the "Clone" tool from the toolbar. Select an appropriate feathered brush size and choose a transparency of 90 per cent. Hold down "Alt" and click on an area near the watermark that is approximately the same colour and texture as the background underneath it. Release "Alt". Normally, the best sampling area is two or three brush-widths from the area you intend to erase.

  3. 3

    Erase the watermark by clicking and dragging the mouse over the entire area. If the background changes under the watermark, you may have to repeat the "Alt-click" process several times to take new samples as you go. For particularly small or troublesome areas, select a smaller brush size.

  4. 4

    Save your work.

Tips and warnings

  • Photographs are art, and like all art they are protected under copyright law. Removing a watermark in an attempt to sell the photograph or present it as one of your own creation is both illegal and immoral.

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