Field spectroscopy is increasingly used in various fields of science: either as a research tool in its own right or in support of airborne- or space-based optical instruments for calibration or validation purposes. Yet, while the use of the instruments appears deceptively simple, the processes of light and surface interactions are complex to be measured in full and are further complicated by the multidimensionality of the measurement process. This study exemplifies the cross validation of in situ point spectroscopy and airborne imaging spectroscopy data across all processing stages within the spectroscopy information hierarchy using data from an experiment focused on vegetation. In support of this endeavor, this study compiles the fundamentals of spectroscopy, the challenges inherent to field and airborne spectroscopy, and the best practices proposed by the field spectroscopy community. This combination of theory and case study shall enable the reader to develop an understanding of 1) some of the commonly involved sources of errors and uncertainties, 2) the techniques to collect high-quality spectra under natural illumination conditions, and 3) the importance of appropriate metadata collection to increase the long-term usability and value of spectral data.