Field Notes

Entries from January 2013

Field Notes In Action:

Alpine Expedition

January 31st, 2013 by Bryan Bedell


Stephan Mantler is a professional photographer based in Austria, specializing in outdoor and adventure sports. Stephan uses Field Notes to keep track of his assignments, travel, and to, erm, take notes… in the field. Our new weatherproof Expedition Field Notes came in handy when he traveled to Martigny, Austria for the ISMF ski mountaineering race on assignment for the German and Austrian national teams and a major sponsor (see Stephan’s ISMF Alpiniski 2013 photos). Here’s his report:

On Friday there was a sprint race, in which athletes qualify in individual time trials for subsequent heats. My Field Notes contained the bib numbers and individual start times of the athletes I needed to cover, so I always knew when to have the camera ready for the next athlete and when I’d have enough time to change my position on the course or check up on the two GoPro cameras I had mounted on the course. These cameras were running in time lapse mode, so I took note of the start time to have an estimate on when to replace batteries or memory cards. After qualifications I also kept track on which athletes were assigned to which subsequent heats all the way to the finals.


The individual race followed on Saturday. Individuals are always a bit more involved, because the best photo spots aren’t easily accessible unless you can score a helicopter ride (it happens, but not this time). So I checked the course maps for potential locations (and shortcuts, to catch the athletes twice or even three times), and talked to the trainers on the day before to have an estimate on when the athletes would be coming through. Of course this all was taken down in the Field Notes again and provided valuable reference information in the field, ensuring that I had ample time to explore a few potential angles before the lead athletes arrived. One of the guys I need to cover usually comes through in the lead or top three, so it’s essential I’m all settled in and ready to shoot as they arrive.

The weekend was a fairly typical assignment; driving a total of 2200km (1,350 miles) in four days, covering two races in alpine conditions, editing and transmitting photos at night with little sleep in between means my tolerance for bullshit products is really low. I love the things that I can rely on, and Field Notes is one of them. I’ve come to prefer the durable Expedition Field Notes, because you don’t end up with soaked, smeared and torn pages when things are a little rough. And they always are when you’re an adventure sports photographer at 2500m elevation.

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Blue Ribbon, Red Ribbon, Yellow Ribbon

January 28th, 2013 by Jim Coudal


Any excuse will do to link up one of my favorite graphics, Bryan’s USA Map, made from our COUNTY FAIR editions.

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Colors · Field Notes In Action:

Expedition Edition in Action

January 23rd, 2013 by Bryan Bedell

We’re getting lots of great feedback from Expedition Edition users… here are three of the most interesting uses we’ve seen:

Field Notes user Mikail Soldatov really put the Expedition Edition to the test:


“First we put it in a working concrete mixer with sand for about 2 minutes. Then washed it in a soapy water, then rinsed it. After it dried out it looked brand new!”

Deeker (Ontario, Canada) is on his way to Togo, Africa, he sent a photo of his pre-trip “to do” list:


And Oddly Delightful filled a glaring hole in his “to-do” list system: He often found himself coming up with great ideas in the shower and no way to record them:

“I put your notebook with pencil in my shower today and already started using it… The notebook was so handy during my next shower that before I was done, I added a (third) item, “Take pic for Field Notes.” That item entered my system and, well, here we are.

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Vintage Memo Book Archive:

Pertinent Details

January 11th, 2013 by Jim Coudal

“I could see all the things I’m supposed to look at as a designer, but then I would look at regular stuff and the ‘undesign’ in that, the beauty in that, and became interested in functional things instead of beautiful things.” Aaron speaks to Farm Collector Magazine about the origins of Field Notes and his massive Memo Book Archive.

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Colors · Field News:

A Shout from

January 9th, 2013 by Bryan Bedell

Thanks to Will Smith, curator of Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage’s great site, for naming us (belatedly but individually) to his list of Favorite Things from 2012.

We asked Will if our vigorous testing of the Expedition Edition pushed us to the top, but he hadn’t seen the videos. Now he’s surely aware: if the crew ever need more assistants (or to dispose of hydrochloric acid in really ill-advised ways), we’re ready.

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