One of the most important step during pre-processing is to assess if your photo needs cropping. Photos are cropped to give your subject focus, to draw the onlooker’s attention to where you want it. The first original image of a fern is way too busy, so I cropped the image to zoom in on the section I was interested in. This helps if you have a camera with high megapixels, giving you more image to work with. It also helps if you have a large-sensor camera (full-frame DSLRs for example), so that image quality is still acceptable. Of course, having the freedom to crop on your PC doesn’t mean you shouldn’t frame your shots properly in the first place, think of it more as a tool to eliminate real world constraints. In this case, the lens I had with me didn’t allow me to move any closer to the fern. Sometimes, other obstacles may also prevent you from re-positioning yourself.
Of the two cropped photos, my preference is actually for the second one – but the softness of the image is pretty apparent at that level.