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Asiaphoto evaluates the entries for May's Shot of the Month.

"Breathing a Fire Dragon" by Michael S. Cherney from the United States won the Top Prize in May's Shot-of-the-Month.

Yes, I am sure many of you will find the subject-matter of his winning entry somewhat "common place". And I am sure there are also some who, disappointed that they did not win, will feel that their own photographs, with similar "common place" subject matter, are equally or more dramatic" than Michael's. So how did Michael win the eyes and hearts of the judges?

"In the course of looking at more than a hundred photographs for that 'dramatic' moment, the judges' attention was gripped by the dramatic simplicity of the action, frozen in time by Michael" said one of the judges. "Visually, it contained the isolated impact not inherent or apparent in the other 100-odd entries" He added.

"Breathing a Fire Dragon" was a moment captured amidst a world of fast-moving action - something our naked eyes would miss in real life. Here, it pulls us in to scrutinize the drama of forms in the facial expression of the flame-thrower and in the flames that stretched across the entire frame. The colours are rich. The contrast strong. It stirs our emotions immediately. The message is clear. A job well done Michael!