Adobe Lightroom 4 - This single piece of software is incredibly easy, useful and powerful for time-lapsers and photographers alike. It sells for $80 (student edition) and $150 (retail). Lightroom allows you to painlessly and seamlessly import your photos, batch edit them beautifully, and export them as a timelapse video. With Lightroom, we’ve been able to create time-lapses in only 3 clicks! We swear by Lightroom, and highly recommend it to anyone. Of course, if it’s too much money to spend, there are many other cheap/free applications that can quickly and easily compile time-lapses, like iMovie, Quick Time Pro, Windows Live Movie Maker, and Virtual Dub.
Adobe After Effects - A more advanced version of Lightroom, after effects is incredibly powerful for more advanced tweaking of your timelapses, especially smoothing almost impossibly shaky time-lapses or other imperfections that invariably come to destroy your other-wise beautiful time-lapse.
LRTimeLapse - Used in conjunction with Lightroom, LRTimelapse can do wonders for your time-lapse. The software essentially allows you to keyframe your time-lapse, and change a number of your settings (exposure, contrast, saturation, white balance, highlights, shadows, etc) over time. It also allows you to deflicker your time-lapses (caused by camera aperture imperfections, sudden changes in light, or from manually adjusting exposure), which is especially useful for manual bulb-ramping. Gunther (the creator) is an awesome fellow who has also created a number of easy to follow tutorials, and also has provided for free on his site Lightroom templates for automatically converting images into time-lapse videos!
Tripods - It goes without saying that these are key. Tripods span the whole gamut in terms of price, weight, and quality, and the key to choosing one is how well it fits your needs. For light and fast travel, a tripod like Dolica’s Proline will work fine. For heavier duty work and high performance, we recommend the very sturdy yet light Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod.
Ballhead - In operation, Radian must be level to the horizon to ensure pans that track evenly along the horizon. By adding a ballhead between the Radian and your camera, you can tilt your camera any way you’d like while still keeping Radian level. This is especially useful for panning time-lapses of the sky or down a canyon. For most cameras, this Vanguard should work fine, but if you really want heavy duty, we recommend something like the Manfrotto 460MG (what we use with Radian).
Graduated ND filters - Graduated Neutral density filters are half transparent, half dark - ideal for lanscapes in which the skies are much brighter than your foreground. When used over your lens, they serve to darken the sky while keeping the foreground neutral, creating a more evenly exposed scene. Lee filters, while very hard to come by and a bit pricey, are recognized as the best ND filters on the market, and do a stellar job. Just make sure you also pick up the filter holder kit and the appropriate thread adapter ring for your lens.
Want more information? Contact us.