Our Editors’ Choice page has never looked more busy—and awesome. That’s because we’ve asked 12 top and up-and-coming photographers to curate their favorite 500px images and add them to the gallery. Could your photo be in there? Read on!

Let’s meet another one of the remarkable guest curators who are shaking things up on our 500px Editors’ Choice page! Marsel van Oosten is a professional nature photographer, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and South Africa. You know him for his breathtaking photos which capture animals in their environment and his eye-catching graphic landscapes.

Most recently, he’s the man who shot the famous “Snow Monkey using an iPhone” photo, which we covered for you exclusively right here on 500px ISO.

He also just documented his 24 hours of shooting in a photo safari in “A Day in the Life of Marsel van Oosten”. Read on, and get to know him more in our exclusive interview!

500px: Hi Marsel. We’re happy to have you pick out photos for our Editors’ Choice page. For you, what makes a good photograph?

MARSEL VAN OOSTEN: For me, a good photograph is simply one that appeals to me. Most of the time, the images that appeal to me have a rich mood, a strong composition, clarity, and clearly defined shapes.

How did you get started with photography?

MARSEL: I worked as an art director in advertising for 15 years. An art director is responsible for the conceptual and the visual part of the ads, and as such I have worked closely with many professional photographers. From them, I learned about the visual power of photography, and what to look for in a successful image. Photography started as a hobby that simply got totally out of control. After winning a couple of serious photography competitions, I decided that I was good enough to follow my dream and became a professional photographer.

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

MARSEL: My personal favorite is “Resurrection”, an image featuring a dead camel thorn tree at Deadvlei, Namibia.

MARSEL (continued): It is special for me because it was shot at such an iconic location, at a time when all the professional landscape photographers were convinced that it was impossible to shoot anything original there anymore. I had pre visualized this image many years before I was finally able to shoot it when the conditions were right. It is the most unique image that has ever been shot there, and purely the result of creative thinking.

Are there any photographers in 500px whose work you admire?

MARSEL: The great thing bout 500px is the diversity—many different photography genres, shot by famous professionals and amateurs alike.

Although I get inspired by the work of some of the popular names on 500px, I more frequently get inspired by the images from the lesser-known photographers. Quite often, I favorite an image because it inspires me for a particular part of the image—great use of light, a strong mood, an interesting color palette, etc. For an image to grab me, it does not need to be technically perfect on all aspects.

Marsel van Oosten’s Favorite Photos on 500px

Now that you’ve gotten to know him a bit better, check out some of his favorite photos on 500px, including the works of Kilian Schönberger, Jussi Ruottinen, Manuela Kulpa, Boris Popchinskiy, Leszek Bujnowski, Alexandre Deschaumes, and Karezoid Michal Karcz.

Scary Avenue by Kilian Schönberger

“This photograph reminded me of “Monastery Burial—Ground Under Snow”, a painting by German painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), one of my biggest inspirations ever since I first saw his work in art school.

I like the graphic qualities of this image very much—the shapes of the trees, the lines of the branches. The mist greatly enhances the mood and creates depth, the small person adds a sense of scale and drama to the image. The monochromatic look fits the atmosphere perfectly.”

Untitled by Jussi Ruottinen

“This photograph of a Dall sheep was shot in Alaska. In wildlife photography it is very tempting to use super long tele lenses to isolate the animal from its surroundings to better see the animal and appreciate all the details. However, from a creative point of view these photographs tend to look alike as there are no other compositional elements to play with.

Here Jussi used a relatively short focal length (200mm) to photograph the Dall sheep in its environment. As a result, the sheep is quite small in the frame, but it is still easily recognizable and we now can see more of its habitat. The weather conditions really make the shot for me. By using a long shutter speed of 1/10s the falling snow is nicely blurred, adding to the drama.”

African Souls XIV by Manuela Kulpa

“I really like this intimate portrait of a reticulated giraffe and its baby. Manuela has created an entire series of African wildlife with this signature look. The composition and framing are right to the point, and she perfectly captured this wonderful moment.

Manuela’s processing goes beyond what most wildlife photographers would consider natural, but that’s actually what I appreciate so much in this series. Wildlife photographers often limit their creativity to merely copying the world as they see it, and this image shows that so much more is possible. Also, her work proves that you don’t have to travel to Africa for an expensive safari, as most of her images are shot in zoos.”

Untitled by Boris Popchinskiy

“I don’t shoot people, but I can appreciate a good portrait like this. What appealed to me in this shot are the soft light, the muted color palette, and the overall mood. The image reminds me of some of the oil paintings by the Dutch Masters in the 17th century.

Interestingly, I don’t care much about the model. I would have favorited this image regardless of the subject for the reasons mentioned above.”

Elephant Whisperer by Leszek Bujnowski

“Elephants are among my favorite animals to photograph, and I’ve got many thousands of images of this amazing creature. As a result, I’m not easily impressed with an elephant picture. This one however is quite something.

My own images are all very naturalistic, and this is clearly a composite, but that doesn’t bother me one bit. Photography is an art form, and in art there are no limits – you set your own. The composition and the framing are spot on, and the monochromatic look fits the surreal setting perfectly. I’m not sure what the story is here, but I couldn’t care less. By looking at this image, you’re looking at the imagination of a very creative person.”

Awoken Despair by Alexandre Deschaumes

“There are thousands of good waterfall images on 500px, but few of them have the storytelling drama of this one. The focused light, the extreme contrast, and the added person make for a powerful image that could easily be used as a book cover or a movie poster.

Where most waterfall images are shot using long shutter speeds to blur the water, here the photographer decided to capture the raging water as we see it with our own eyes. To me, in combination with the human element, this has created the kind of tension befitting a dark thriller. A powerful lesson that you don’t need thermo-nuclear sunrises and sunsets to create art.”

Well of Souls by Karezoid Michal Karcz

“It’s hard to pick a favorite from Karezoid Michal Karcz’s images. His surreal landscapes are thoughtfully designed composite images that fuel your imagination. In his dark and moody work he uses common landscape elements and combines them to form otherworldly scenes that seem like stills from science fiction block busters.

His images may not be photographs in the traditional sense of the word, but then again there is nothing traditional about his landscapes. The ability to pre visualize an image is one of the most important characteristics of a photographer, and to be able to pre visualize something that not even exists, is as creative as you can get.”

To check out more of Marsel van Oosten’s incredible work visit him on 500px, his official website, or his Facebook page.