Popular 500px photographer and December guest curator Evgeni Dinev takes pride in using his art to transform “the ordinary into the sublime.” The Bulgarian photographer’s landscapes, draped in beautiful light, composed to perfection, have a way of transporting you out of your seat and into the wilderness.

It’s obvious, then, why Evgeni was one of the photographers we asked to participate in our Editors’ Choice program. And now that he’s done his job and picked his favorites, we sat down to have him explain why he picked the photos he did.

We hope you enjoy his picks and answers as much we did!

500PX: What, in your mind, makes for a great photograph?

EVGENI DINEV: A good photo comes with all those positive feelings that don’t leave the spectator unconcerned. It is a reflection of the author’s view captured on camera. Big talents create their own vision that is easy to distinguish, and hard to copy. I perceive their photos as paintings, not just shots.

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

EVGENI: I found this tree while I was walking through the wood on my way to the ancient Thracian sanctuary Belintash in the Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria.

EVGENI (continued): With its red autumn leaves, the old deciduous tree stood out amongst the young pine forest. Fortunately, the sun had just climbed above the horizon, the light was warm and the trees cast long shadows.

At first, I tried to shoot with my back to the sun, but soon I discovered that facing the sun and letting through only the sunbeams, the tree looked better and gained texture. I took the picture from a very low angle.

Evgeni Dinev’s Favorite Landscape Photos on 500px

Now that we’ve gotten to know Evegeni a bit, and shared some of his most popular and powerful images with you above, it’s time to hear about his favorite images on 500px. Scroll down to see his three favorites and find out why he picked them.

Volcanic Twilight II by Alex Noriega

I like the mood and the calm that this picture brings me. The dawn hour is well-selected: there are evaporations over the water, the sky’s still full of stars, simple unostentatious colours abound. I could spend hours contemplating this photo. It is a pleasure that lies between relaxation and nostalgia.

Autumn in The Woods by Nicola Bombassei

This photo features an excellent balance between the autumn colours and the golden light of the sunset. It’s also an original composition, with the tree branches and the foreground forming a frame. This picture makes me feel cheerful and charged with positive energy.

The Cascade Flow by Greg Boratyn

The very first moment I saw this photo I thought it was a painting. The marvelous landscape of Torre del Paine at sunset is a pure joy for the eyes.

I’ve seen many wonderful photos of that place, but in this case I’m impressed with the point of view and the masterful shooting. As I read in the description, the author used a Singh-Ray Vari-N-Trio filter and I find it a splendid decision to represent those delicate colours so difficult to capture on camera.

As always, a big thank you goes out to Evgeni for taking the time to answer our questions and explain why he picked the photos he did. To see more Editors’ Choice images, click here. And if you’d like to keep up with Evgeni and his work, visit his website or give him a follow on 500px and Facebook.