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The Slow Show: Natchez photographs featured in Georgia photography festival

ZEBULON, Ga. — Images of springtime in Natchez were in full bloom for four days in September in Zebulon, Georgia.

Sixteen photographs by Natchez Democrat news editor Ben Hillyer were on display from Sept. 20-23 as part of “Slow Exposures” an annual photography festival that highlights the best in pictures of the rural South.

For one weekend every year since 2003, Zebulon and other small communities in Pike County, Georgia, attract photographers, curators, collectors and editors to discuss, debate and exchange ideas about photography and the rural South. Pike County is approximately 48 miles south of Atlanta.

Alabama native, now New York City curator and collector, John Bennette selected Hillyer’s images of azaleas in Natchez to be displayed in a pop-up exhibit along with other shows from 14 other photographers. The pop-up shows were  presented in various buildings in and around downtown Zebulon.

Hillyer’s exhibit featured 16 photographs of azaleas he took in Natchez over the last four years. The images show how the iconic Southern plant transforms the landscape, sometimes outliving long forgotten properties.

Slow Exposures is part of the Atlanta Celebrates Photography festival. Proceeds from Slow Exposures go toward the preservation and restoration of historic buildings in Pike County. Hillyer also had one image selected from more than 1,500 photographs that were submitted for the Slow Exposures juried exhibit.

Hillyer’s images of azaleas will be exhibited along with other photographs celebrating local flora and the Natchez landscape at the Historic Natchez Foundation’s annual meeting on Jan. 10.

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