Another of the recently developed 8x10 negatives. The sunlight was incredibly brilliant and the temperature was way over 100° F by late morning. Clear, overhead, sunlight is generally my least favorite, but I kept finding that it was perfect for these Western desert theaters. Instead of sitting out the noontime light, waiting for it to improve, as I'm always doing back East, here I found myself wanting to finish and rush to the next theater while the sun was still high in the sky.
While spotting—cleaning up—the high resolution scan, when I dropped back from 50% view to 'fit on screen,' I noticed some subtle unevenness of tone in the clear sky. Uh-oh, something going wrong with my development of the negatives? Then I thought of something. I pulled up the similar digital capture RAW file from the "107 Drive-ins" collection and brought it into Photoshop. Sure enough, the same barely perceptible uneven look was there in the "clear" sky areas. It's super diffuse smoke and particulate from the wildfires burning only miles away in just about every direction.