Wonderful shot, ckwaller!
Wish I could see a larger version without that massively intrusive watermark, though. I know people like to protect their work, but when the watermark totally kills the image, I honestly wonder what the point is. ;P
Thanks, jrista! Believe me, I would have preferred to post the shot without my watermark. However, I've done this in the past (on other forums/sites) and wound up finding my photos being used by other people/companies without my permission. That's never any fun, haha!
Now, I link directly from my site which automatically stamps my watermark on all images to deter any theft.
I understand, but there are ways of doing watermarks that don't deaden the photo. The way your doing it now, it really does just...kill any real viewing pleasure. I mean, I know the photo is truly amazing, but...it's not...not the way it's currently presented.
You can still watermark, you just don't need to do it in a photo-deadening way like you have now. Studies have been done that show that even a very small watermark, just an artists or company name relatively near the center (doesn't even have to be AT the dead center) of a photo is enough to kill off over 90% of potential "thieves". Thieves are in quotes because the vast majority of this kind of theft is just people sharing photos they like, without the notion that they are actually stealing entering their heads. The other ~10% are those who might be real thieves. Real thieves may be smart enough to remove a watermark from the very peripheral edge of a photo, but most won't bother if the watermark is even relatively centered. It's just too much work, so it cuts out the majority of potential theft.
Then there are the top 1-2% of viewers who are dedicated thieves. Those are the ones you would really have to worry about...except that it really doesn't matter what you do, because if they are intent on stealing your work, they are going to find a way to steal your work. These days, it isn't all that difficult to entirely eliminate semi-translucent watermarks like you have. There are even actions and plugins for photoshop that can automate the process, automatically identify watermarks and automatically "scrub" them out of the image while leaving behind no obviously visible artifacts of their prior presence. There are also other tools, like EXIFTool, which allow hardcore thieves to either obliterate the exif data, or change any of it to whatever they want...exif is the "hard coded" details about the camera used and all that, as well as photographer copyright and the like, so a clever thief could change the photographer name and copyright and even change information about what camera was used to take the shot. The top 1-2% of thieves who are hell bent on taking your work and presenting it as their own WILL figure out how to do this. It's been done. One of the worst places on the net for this kind of thing is DeviantArt.com, a place where I used to hang out for over a decade...I saw a lot of theft like that, there were countless forum threads on the subject, people discussed the means by which they tried to protect their work with watermarks, etc. and most fail.
There is also the point where you consider theft of a photo posted online to be an actual issue. If you were sharing very large scale versions, say wallpaper sizes (1280x720, 1920x1200, etc.) then watermarking is definitely more meaningful. Given the size you've shared your photo here...I honestly don't see the point of watermarking at all. As mentioned before, and by others...it really just kills any viewing pleasure for the photo, the watermark is INCREDIBLY intrusive, and it just screams "DON'T YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT THINKING ABOUT STEALING MY TINY LITTLE PHOTO!!!! AAARGGG!! BACK! BACK! NOOO, STOP THINKING IT!" That's what a lot of people are going to see when they see photos with giant watermarks right in the center. It's just an unpleasant thing for someone who wants to admire it for it's beauty (and honestly, it's one of the best waterscapes shared here so far! It's amazing! I want to see more of your work!), and who could care less about stealing it period, let alone an itsy bitsy 300x450 pixel image.
So, it boils down to...are you really so hell bent on protecting even tiny replications of your work that you insist on putting such a huge watermark over it? Or might it just be worth reducing the watermark to a small, less intrusive size that is still primarily as effective (according to studies) against the vast majority of theft as a large watermark, so that your viewers can truly appreciate your photographic eye and the amazing scenes you photograph?
I don't mean for this to sound harsh, I simply wanted to offer my honest opinion of what your watermarks do to your work, and maybe offer you an option for keeping your watermarks without deadening the impact of your work to viewers. Without really opening the door to tons of theft (assuming that the "theft" of a tiny 300x450 pixel version is even something to worry about in the first place. ;P)