As you know by now, we’ve asked 12 amazing photographers to curate the 500px Editors’ Choice page last month. 500px ISO is catching up with each of them to discuss their own work, their picks for Editors’ Choice, and to learn a bit more about them!

Up next is German-based street photographer Kai Ziehl. With his visually-stunning graphic compositions bathed in glorious black and white, we’re thrilled to have him lend his expert eye in curating our Editors’ Choice page. Get to know him better in the interview below—read on!

For you, what are the qualities of a great photograph?
I prefer black and white shots where people meets architecture in a special way. I would say that for me, it’s very important to combine architecture and humans to get a feeling of space and room. I love the
loneliness when there is just one person. But back to your question to what makes a photo good, it has to impress me, whether it’s a black and white or a colored photo.

How did you get started with photography?
My girlfriend at the time bought a camera in 1990—it was an old analog camera from olympus. She never used the camera, so I took it and started with aviation photography. I was always an aviation enthusiast. I traveled several times around the globe just to catch lots of aircrafts. I’ve travelled 35 times to the United States, and 25 times to Asia until I had enough in 2003. Today, I have a collection of nearly 30,000 aircraft slides at home. In 2004, I started to take pictures in the Hamburg Harbour—colored photos. But then, in 2009, I stopped it as well. I was looking for something different. I took my camera and started walking through the city to take black and white photos. I often take the subway and that’s where the idea to capture the photos I take now, with all the lines and stations, was born.

Out of all your photos, which one is your most favorite?
My favorite shot is called, “Passing Through”, which is very special to me.

KAI (continued): I found the location using Google Earth. When the conditions where perfect, I went there and took the photo. It’s all really one shot, and not born in Photoshop. I had to climb up an embankment, then I had to pass some of the tracks which where very busy that time. Today, I’d say it was very risky, and I would not do it again. If somebody had seen me there, the whole traffic would have to be stopped in connection, and there would be trouble for me.

Are there any photographers in 500px whose work you admire?
KAI: There are several photographers I admire, some of them take colored photos and some are good black and white photographers—KPK, Guy Cohen, Martin Waldbauer, Raymond Hoffmann.

Kai Ziehl’s Favorite Photos on 500px
Now that you’ve gotten to know him a little better, check out some of Kai Ziehl’s favorites on 500px, featuring the works of J. Bordinggaard, Vivienne Gucwa, Miguel Silva, Kostas Maros, KPK, and Manuel Vicario. Scroll down!

Church by J. Bordinggaard
“It is the perfect combination of architecture and a lonely human. This is a photo I like to look at. I like the toning and the hard contrasts.”

New York Winter – Snow and the Chrysler Building by Vivienne Gucwa
“What a great shot! That’s exactly what I love in a picture—the snow, the mood, the lonely person there, which is crossing the street, and the skyline. Everything is great, and I love it! This is what I want to capture my self. In the next years to come, I will try to go to New York or Chicago for several weeks to wait for these same conditions. Vivienne Gucwa is also a very, very good photographer!”

The Walkway by Miguel Silva
“Also a very great shot for me! He took the photo at the right time. I love the hard lightning, contrasts, the lines of the tracks and the silhouettes. Yesterday, I booked a trip to Lisbon after I saw this shot!”

Bridge to Mandalay by Kostas Maros
“Another great one from a great photographer. It’s got a great perspective and I love this bridge! It’s very similar to our bridge in Hamburg. The photo looks very reduced and clean. I love it! The subject, the person walking in the foreground, is a very important part of the photo. So you get a feeling of the dimensions, which is very important. The person looks very lost here.”

Fly by Maggy Morrissey
“This is also a photo that I really love, and she is a great photographer as well. In fact, I like ALL her photos. I like the mood here. But it’s very sad—she doesn’t seem to be very active at the moment.”

LightBoxVisitor by KPK
“Also a great photographer. He is a real specialist in architecture photography. Here, he combines human, architecture, and lines. This is a shot that I liked from the first time I saw it. The quality is very good in my eyes. We had some conversations over the last year too.”

Lights and shadows in Lisboa by Manuel Vicario
“Here, you have the surface of the street with the lines from the tracks, a lonely person, great lighting, and contrasts. Taken from a higher vantage point, it looks very good.”

Rain Over The Capital by Simone Cento
“Can’t really explain why, but this is also a photo that I love. Great mood here, with the rain and just the building in the background—a great shot!”

To check out more of Kai’s incredible work, visit him on 500px, Facebook, or website.