The North Casacdes Insitute last weekend kicked off its Sourdough Speaker Series with an enchanting talk by one of the best known landscape photographers of the Pacific NW, Lee Mann. Growing up on a rural third-generation stump ranch in the Skagit Valley, Mann was felling trees and trapping his supper by his teen years. But realizing the barbarism of his family ways, he picked up a camera instread of a gun and headed for the North Cascades, where he climbed great walls of rock and ice and documented the experiences with 4x5 and medium format film cameras. He was hooked ,and has become a leading seller of prints of the North Casacdes and other regional landmarks for the past half century, longer by far than any of the upstarts that have tried to replace him. While the last several years saw Mann tending to his sick wife Anne who passed away last fall, Mann is re-energized with a full camera bag of new digital gear, which he says given him more flexibility, just as much control and higher quality than his much beloved film gear--although he still takes his time with each shot as if it would cost $6 (which is how much each snap of the 4x5 camera would cost him in film and processing). Look for new work coming out from Mann over the next months. And check out the North Cascades Institute's website to find an enchanting experience of your own on the shores of Lake Diablo within North Cascades National Park this spring or summer.