Dean M. Chriss

About Us

Dean and Lee in Yellowstone, © Susanna RolandOnline since 1999, this website is a consequence of a lifetime of passion and enthusiasm for the natural world, over forty years of experience photographing that world, and a desire to share experiences in that world through the medium of photography. We began offering the landscape, nature, and wildlife photographs on this website to celebrate nature and inspire its preservation. Many of them have since become memorials to animals and places that no longer exist and experiences that can no longer be had. As people and their trappings replace nature around the globe, I now realize that this is the ultimate fate of all my photographs.

Dean's Biography

Photo of Dean M. ChrissDean’s fundamental connection with nature began in early childhood in the woodlands around his family's rural Ohio farm. His interest in photography began at age eleven with a Kodak Instamatic 100 camera given to his mother as a promotional item. Dean's connection with nature and his interest in photography merged into a lifelong passion when he first traveled to the deserts of the Southwestern United States in the late 1970s. In the 1990s Dean's photographic interests grew to include wildlife inhabiting the places he had come to know and love. He has photographed extensively in the United States and has photographed extremely rare and endangered wildlife in Peninsular Malaysia and on the island of Borneo.

Dean made his first photographic prints in high school during the days of film and darkrooms. It was not until 1997 that he began printing all of his own work digitally. This allows him to maintain a consistent visual interpretation from the first eyewitness view in the field all the way through to the finished print. Dean has also made prints for other photographers, reproduced works for painters and other visual artists, and digitally restored and printed historically significant photographs for corporate and private collections. Some of the most advanced tools, materials, and processes that exist along with over twenty years of printmaking experience were used to create Dean's fine art prints.

Dean's work was first published in the United States in 1986. His images have since been published in more than twenty-five countries distributed across Europe, North America, and South Asia.

Dean and his wife currently live in Australia where he is fully retired and concentrates on field work for his own enjoyment. This is the most fundamental, enduring, and enjoyable aspect of photography for Dean, and what first drew him to photography nearly 60 years ago.


Photographer's Statement

Photography was initially my way of seeing and celebrating nature. It eventually brought me to realize that the world is dying right before my eyes. Since then my celebrations of nature are bittersweet. Unspoiled landscapes and wildlife are disappearing at an astonishing pace, and many photographic opportunities that were common when I started are rare or nonexistent today. This drives me to see and photograph as much of nature as I can before it is gone. My relationship with the natural world is among my greatest treasures. Photographing nature brings rewards that are intangible, allowing me to share my view of the natural world and at the same time helping me to see my subjects in a much more intimate way. Concern and respect for my subjects is the driving force behind my photography. I believe that a personal connection with one’s subjects and knowledge of them are prerequisites for the creation of compelling images.

The photographs on this website are my attempt to show the essence of my subjects, all of which are diminishing. They are statements saying "This exists in our world." They are questions of conscience, asking how we can knowingly wipe these places and beings from the face of the planet, robbing them from the future, and claim any morality. They are a hope that more people might realize that destroying nature is destroying humanity's future. To these ends I present the unblemished face of nature without signs of modern human presence. I always hope that my photographs convey to others the wonder, awe, and joy that existed when the images were captured.

Sample Clients, Credits, and Venues

Allegheny College, PennsylvaniaDean photographing a reddish egret
Art by the Falls, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Artisans' Corner Gallery, Newbury Ohio
Asian Photography Magazine
Audubon Society
Beautyway Publications
Brecksville Center for the Arts, Brecksville, Ohio
Cain Park Arts Festival, Cleveland Hts., Ohio
Cleveland Metroparks System, Ohio
College Club of Cleveland
Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society
Cuyahoga Valley Trails Association
Death Valley Natural History Association
Digital Photographer Magazine
East Shore Invitational Art Show, Kirtland, Ohio
Glacier National Park, Montana
Heights Arts, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Holden Arboretum, Kirtland, Ohio
Lakewood Arts Festival
Lake County Metroparks System, Ohio
Lakewood Photographic Society, Ohio
Lorain County Metroparks System, Ohio
Mildred Wardlaw Nature Trails, British Columbia, Canada
Pilgrimage Magazine
Science Illustrated Magazine, Denmark
Shambhala Publications
Sierra Club
South Wing Gallery, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Susan G. Komen Foundation
Summit County Metroparks, Ohio
The Art Gallery, Willoughby, Ohio
The Choral Project, San Jose, California
The West Woods Nature Arts Festival, Novelty, Ohio
United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
University Hospitals
Valley Art Center, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Waterloo 7 Gallery, Willoughby Hills, Ohio
Willoughby ArtsFest, Willoughby, Ohio
Willoughby Hills Community Gallery, Ohio
Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington

Dean M. Chriss is a member of Nature First, The Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography