Shooting through window

I sometimes take pictures of birds, and other wildlife, through a double pain window. I am not good with post production. I have photoshop and Lightroom classic. Can someone please offer suggestions for cleaning up the image, eg dehazing, sharpening etc.
Thanks in advance.

George, I take quite a few photos of birds through our windows, but I am not certain if they are double pain windows, but I think they are. Anyway, I have no problems at all. Our cameras focus on the subject way beyond our windows, so they don’t have to be extremely clean. I do clean the ones I shoot through far more often than those in the rest of the house, just to make certain the window will not be an issue. I have never had to do anything like dehaze or any extra sharpening in post production due to the image being shot through the window. So, I can’t help you so much with post production with whatever seems to be going on. Do you have an example that you could post in this discussion? Maybe that would help in trying to figure out what is going on or what you can do to fix in post processing. If you will provide the settings as well, that might help. Shooting through the window has been a real nice “blind” if you will, as most of the birds don’t pay any attention to you, or at least don’t feel you to be a threat. I have set up props of perches close by so I can get a full frame shot. I am still in the house where I can work on my computer and be able to accomplish other things as needed, and just go look out the window once in awhile to see if there are any birds out there. I sure hope either someone else or myself can help you solve your issues.

Hi Shirley Freeman,

Thanks for responding. I shoot through glass a lot mostly not cleaned though because it is usually an impromptu image. I see something, typically a bird and grab one of my cameras. So it’s not all planned and probably qualifies as a snapshot.
Anyway, here is one of the images I snapped of a bird on our community fence. I had been hearing this bird singing and first thought it was sparrow. I had never heard a sparrow sound like that so when it came back I grabbed one my cameras, happened to be the Sony ILCA-77M2 with DT 55-200mm f/4-5/6 SAM capture f/5.6 200(300mm 35mm equivalent), ISO 100, 1/500.

This in no way qualifies to be posted on NPN for critique. It is straight from camera with absolutely no post production and is for this discussion only. It is just one of the 35 to 40 images I snapped off quickly through my sliding glass door. I know it’s not all that sharp but it looks to me like it could use some dehazing. Here is a second one with the same lens information at F/5.6, 1/320, ISO 250

P. S. Does anyone know what bird this is. I’m pretty sure it’s not a sparrow.

I’m not a bird photographer but I’m pretty sure that’s a wren. There are numerous species of wrens that look very similar to most of us. I’m sure someone will identify this here with greater accuracy.

Most decidedly a wren, George. Where are you located? That helps a lot with ID. What might be going on in the first version is some internal reflection between the two panes of glass. If the angle of the light is wrong or if you can’t shoot straight through the glass, you can start to get reflection issues that look like haziness. Ideally, you want to get the lens hood smuck up against the glass. If you really wanted to do it on a regular basis and set up perches like Shirley has, a darkened room works wonders.

As an aside, there’s a European photographer named Bence Mate (accents over both the a and the e in the last name) who has made something of a career of designing and building blinds for wildlife photography and all of his blinds use one way glass (though it’s probably single pane). Judging by the results I’ve seen, the concept works extraordinarily well.

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George, I agree with Dennis’ comments. You need to watch out for reflections. From my windows, I have had no issues, but it could be different types of glass, may be the lighting of the room, who knows. I sure hope that you can get it figured out, as having your house as a blind is sure a nice feature. I need better set up perches, and a nice backyard running water pond like Dennis has. Check his photos of birds from his backyard. Really nice. He shoots from a blind in the yard though, I believe. I noticed that the background isn’t ideal, so maybe there is a better window that you can shoot from in your house, and start setting up bird feeders, bird baths, and perches that will welcome the birds closer to that window.

Igor, Dennis, Shirley,

Wren, that is what I thought. I didn’t say it because I didn’t want to influence the identification. Thanks much for your expertise. For such a small bird it has a powerful sound. BTW, I live in Indianapolis, Indiana near the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway (where drag national’s are typically held).

For these pictures I was not in the best of positions. I was shooting at an angle as I was trying to remain out of site for obvious reasons. And, it is winter here so it’s impossible to keep the glass clean and free of water droplets.

Anyway thanks to you all for your help. I really like NPN members.


“It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.”

P. S. Could it be a Finch?

Hi Shirley,

You’re right, the background is awful! I’ve been living here 20 years and sometimes I can get a better angle of view but sometimes I have to take what I can get. Especially in the winter months. But I wasn’t shooting this for display or critique just for ID purposes. The background can be better in spring and summer when the trees, flower bushes, and trees are in bloom.

Over the years though I’ve managed to get some fairly decent photos of everything from hawks to hummingbirds to woodpeckers to cardinals to ducks and cranes in flight. Sometimes I shoot from my front windows too and in spring the yellow finches in my trees are beautiful.

I didn’t mention I also live within walking distance of the Eagle Creek Dam, Reservoir and Park. Eagle Creek Park is one of the 10 biggest city parks in the USA.

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Hi George,

The bird looks like either a Bewick’s Wren or Carolina Wren, but given your location it is probably a Carolina Wren. Both have prominent white eyebrows.

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I think you’re right.
Carolina Wren