One of the more compelling portraits I’ve taken in my travels is this woman of the Hamar tribe in Ethiopia. Two people in my photo tour group held a piece of black velvet behind her to eliminate the village environment, and the diffused lighting is entirely natural. This was actually taken at sunrise, but the velvet blocked the low angled golden light because I wanted to use only soft light. That made minimal contrast, and it also prevented her from squinting due to the bright sun. I shot this with a 70-200mm lens, and the settings were 1/320, f/5.0, and 500 ISO. My favorite focal lengths for portraits are in the telephoto range because the inherent compression compliments all faces and the working distance places the photographer and the subject further apart. This tends to make subjects relax and look more natural.