This picture was taken in the late afternoon. I wanted the subject, in this case the thistle, to stand out. I moved in on it. My camera has a 1.6 crop factor so the dynamic range is limited. I had to use a graduated split neutral density filter to stop down the sun. I also used a 48" reflector, attached to a boom, to get more light on the thistle. The thistle can grow to 5 or 6 feet tall and are susceptible to the slightest breeze. I had a limited time before the sun went down and had to use a make shift Plamp to hold the thistle in place. I was lucky the farmer didn't harvest the hay till late in the season. The hay becomes a wash of gold as the sun goes down. I generally do more macro with a 100mm but did this with a 10-20mm wide angle zoomed out. Photographing thistle, as well as sun flowers, has become an annual July photographic exercise for me. The summer can be kind of slow for photographs so I'm always happy to have subjects lined up.