Dubai-based photographer, time-lapse cinematographer, visual artist and producer Beno Saradzic isn’t just a gifted shooter, this last month he also took on the title of Guest Curator for the 500px Editors’ Choice page.

Each month we’re selecting 12 of the best photographers on 500px to help us pick out the best of the best photos on the service. When they’re done, we get them to revel their favorite photos on 500px and explain what makes those images special.

So far we’ve featured the expertise of big names like Lisa Holloway, Matt Payne, Chris Burkard and many more. And today, it’s time to get to know Beno. Scroll down and enjoy!

500PX: What makes a photo great in your mind?

BENO SARADZIC: That’s highly subjective and quite intangible, but I do believe that there’s something universal about aesthetics and beauty. A great shot is a great shot and we instantly recognize it. It’s the language we all speak.

I often think of a solar eclipse when I see a great photograph; when you stand in the right spot and elements within a scene line up in some sort of order, that’s when wonderful things happen. A great photograph makes you instantly say “wow.” It’s almost like a reflex and you can’t help it.

It may be superb composition, or an amazing subject… a precious moment, or spectacular light. When a photograph engages you from an emotional standpoint and hits a spot from within, that’s when you got a winner.

Out of all your own photos, what is your favorite? And can you share the story behind this shot?

BENO: That’s an easy one: it’s a photograph that I named ‘While you were sleeping’. I took it from roof of the tallest skyscraper in Abu Dhabi, which was under construction at the time.

BENO (continued): Getting access permission was no easy feat and when I finally got up there with my camera, I was awestruck. It was just before sunrise. Spectacular, low-lying fog was rolling into the city like some sort of spooky tsunami in slow motion, and when the first rays of light lit the city, my jaw dropped to the ground. It was the most poetic scene of the Capital of the UAE I have ever witnessed.

I experienced pure adrenaline rush as I scrambled to capture as many shots of this scene as possible. I didn’t even notice that I was standing on a small wooden ledge, on the outside of the skyscraper, some 95 floors above the ground. When I finally realized where I was, I turned to jelly. To me, ‘While you were sleeping’ remains the most beautiful photograph I have ever captured.”

Beno Saradzic’s Favorite 500px Photos

Now that you know what makes a photo great to Beno, and you’ve heard the story behind his own favorite photo, let’s find out what his favorite photos on 500px are and why.

Beno selected four, and explained in detail why they’re so gosh darn fantastic:

Gondola by Ronny Behnert

I love the ‘Gondola’ photograph by Ronny Behnert. I’ve seen a billion photos of Venice so it’s really commendable when someone manages to capture this legendary city in a fresh way.

I really like the motion in stillness as well as the full range of greyscale tones. The image is both soft and sharp, it’s very well exposed, and it’s been skillfully processed. That’s how you capture a well known tourist location!

Abandon by Otto Hütter

The next shot I’d like to feature is ‘Abandon’ by a very talented Otto Hütter. I’m a huge movie buff, and this image is pure cinema.

It tells a story, and a very emotional one at that, in a single frame. It’s a moving and deeply expressive piece of work that hit me right in the gut when I first saw it. This tender moment was captured by someone who truly understands this medium and possesses great technical skills to fulfill his vision. Hats off to Otto.

Backlight by Janez Tolar

I chose ‘Backlight’ by Janez Tolar because I really love the simplicity of the composition. You don’t need a lot in your viewfinder to end up with a great photograph. All it takes is one simple subject, clean background, and great light to create a magical atmosphere.

It’s almost like being in a theater, watching the hero under the spotlight. Your mind does the rest. The photo is a masterclass in landscape photography.

The Portal by Kla Karava

The last photograph I’d like to talk about is ‘The Portal’ by Kla Karava. Remember what I said about the Solar Eclipse and things lining up in a magical way? This shot is what I was talking about.

People tend to look ahead of them, to the left and right, but rarely upwards. It’s how we’re designed and programmed. This is also why many photographers miss great shots — a lot of fantastic compositions lie hidden in uncomfortable, unintuitive viewpoints.

Kla clearly knows how to look up and was rewarded with the view of this amazing architecture. He was also patient enough to wait for a plane, which I’m sure wasn’t a coincidence. Terrific work.

We’re incredibly grateful that Beno took the time to select photos for our Editors’ Choice page, and answer these questions for us. To see more of his work or follow him as he creates more, be sure to visit his 500px profile or give him a follow on Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr, Twitter, and Google+.