Additional images can be viewed here.
For some reason, public and private gardens in Southern California don't seem to be planting as many or varied types of sunflowers that they used to 5 or 6 years ago. Sunflowers really do come in a variety of color, sizes, and shapes. I really like unusual colors such as the petals on the sunflower above. That's what makes them fun to photograph. The sunflower was located in a bed of all types of perennials and annuals and stuck up above them all.
I had to take a large number of images of the flower in order to get the background that further highlighted the flowers. There was a really large bright spot that kept blowing out the image. The difference between this image and the other less successful was less than an inch of camera placement. It's amazing how much camera position counts when shooting at longer focal lengths such as 400mm which is actually 600mm on the cropped frame camera that I using.
The image was shot with a 16MP, cropped frame, DSLR body with 70-400 zoom lens on carbon fiber tripod with large ball head.