Located in the beautiful Village of La Jolla, right on “Gallery Row” neighboring 5-star hotels and famous gourmet restaurants, and minutes from the shoreline. This gallery was created by the merging of two units that opened up into one large fine art photography gallery. The gallery encompasses over 2,000 sq. ft. with 13-foot ceilings, natural hardwood floors, stone and tile from around the world, colors of details that transform the viewer into the captured moment. Ian’s vision and sense of detail reflect from the photography to the design and creativity within the gallery itself.
From a childhood fascination with the medium of photography to a reputation as one of the most consistent and respected landscape photographers in the industry, Ian Ely has been in pursuit of Mother Nature his entire life. Sometimes he gets there, sometimes not, but the one constant in this driven photographer’s life is the motivation and spirit to keep trying.
Ely’s passion for the outdoors developed over a childhood spent exploring his home state of California, punctuated by family road trips and wilderness camping in the Midwest. The true catalyst for what was to become his calling was his experience as a young boy traversing the mountains of Colorado aboard a backcountry steam train. At the time, Ely was so struck by the powerful beauty of the wild, unfettered landscape it made an indelible and enduring impression on his young sensibilities.
At the age of 10, he funded the purchase of his first camera by selling magazines and the building blocks of what was to evolve into his brilliant career were set in place. It was around this time he also began collecting postcards from around the country, which fed his enthusiasm for the photographic landscape image and became a defining source of his childhood aspirations to become a professional. Those images were his ‘happy place’ and, despite sharing a bedroom with three boisterous brothers, the world he created around his little corner of a bunk bed sustained the dreams of the life he envisioned for himself. Ely still has that original boyhood postcard collection and now, many years later, has visited around 90% of the locations – capturing his own depiction of the places that instilled in him such a lasting connection with nature.
Without the luxury of digital technology, the young Ely spent all his chore money on film for his camera. At that time, every click of the shutter cost him, so this early training afforded him the discipline to develop his technique and attention to detail.
After high school, Ely worked for a time with his father in the construction business. Although he always knew a life constrained by rules and time clocks was not for him, his experience in the industry proved valuable when it came to building his first gallery.