App of the Week: Marksta

(Image Credit: John D. McHugh)

App Name: Marksta

Price: $1.99

Available Platforms: iPhone

What does this app do? Photojournalist John McHugh knows the pain photographers feel when others use their work without attributing credit. And so, he created Marksta, a photo app released this past week for the iPhone that allows users to add watermarks to their photos before sharing their work through social media. Through text-editing tools, users can copyright their images, as well as add twitter and website addresses.

"If I get lots of people putting their names on photographs, I hope it will give them an idea of ownership," says McHugh, who spent the past year creating the app with an independent developer. "Hopefully, it will make people less cavalier toward taking others' creative works."

To that end, McHugh's goal was to make a simple, intuitive app easy enough for novice users to figure out, but complex enough for the most adept professionals to appreciate. Load a photo from an album or the iPhone's camera roll, tap the text on the image to begin creating a watermark, and then choose from a handful of tools represented by a row of icons on the bottom of the screen. Press the "A" button to select from a series of fonts or tap the color palate to adjust the shades of your text, for example.

Marksta contains editing features photographers will recognize such as the ability to create layers and templates, as well as the option to add a border and adjust its size and color. Within each layer you create, you can add drop shadows or reposition the watermark by tapping the effects key.

Is it easy to set up? Yes, you can begin working with Marksta as soon as you download it. Press the "I" button on the top right hand corner to view tutorials as you work, too, making it simple for first-time users to learn.

Should I try it? Many of the features within the app can be adjusted or turned on or off within the iPhone settings, which gives the app versatility and flexibility. In testing the app, however, we found it difficult to add and resize an image to a watermark. The function was buried in the layer tool and, try as we might, we could not adjust the size. Still, Marksta provides a comprehensive set of tools and the app's creator, McHugh, makes up for any small downsides with his communication skills; logon to the app's Facebook page and you will see a steady stream of posts and responses to users' questions and posts.