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In this paper, the requirements, techniques and applications of digital watermarking for high-quality images were discussed. The several classes of digital watermarking techniques defined by their appearance and application domains specify the requirements and summarize the current research efforts in the image applications. An optimal watermark embedding method is developed to achieve minimum watermarking distortion. A secret embedding key is designed to securely embed the fragile watermarks so that the method is robust to counterfeiting, even when the malicious attackers are fully aware of the watermark embedding algorithm. For robustness this algorithm should resist all kinds of attacks, such as common signal processing operators, geometric attacks and so on.