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Beginner Drone Photography

Lesson 4 of 26

Registering Your Drone


Beginner Drone Photography

Lesson 4 of 26

Registering Your Drone


Lesson Info

Registering Your Drone

I wanna talk to you about registering your drone. This is a very important first step and I share this because people will come up to me like, Dirk I have a drone, and one of things I always ask is like, I just try to make sure like how legit are they? And I find out people don't register, people don't know the rules, they just get their drone off the shelf and they're flying everywhere and it's like oh man, like this is why you know, drone pilots can have a bad name right? (chuckles) So I wanna help make sure that you guys are prepared, you guys are legitimate, you guys are good representations of our community right? So the first step when you get a drone, depending on which one you guys wanna get, you wanna then register your drone. Registration costs $5.00 and this will be valid for three years. So what does that look like? It basically looks like you going to the FAA's drone website, and I put the URL there and that is not a joke (chuckles). That is URL,, and ...

it's really important guys that you go to this site. Don't Google it, just type it in because there are a lot of websites out there that they actually show up first in Google's ranking, and they will register for you, so you think you're registering, and then you end up paying them 55 bucks, and unfortunately you know I just had a friend that let me know about that; she paid 55 bucks and realized that she only had to pay five cause she went through not the FAA. It's literally just someone that takes your information, your $55.00, puts it in, it's like guys go to this website; do not be scammed right? And I do wanna let you know - I'm gonna back up real quick right here - so when you go to register, there's two options, and again there's fancy language right: sUAS, Aircraft under Section 336. So right, it gets kinda, it gets kinda serious really quick. So basically what you need to know if you're gonna fly commercially, you're gonna make money, there's any type of transaction, you're shooting for a couple that's getting married, you're doing real estate photography, any money that's being transferred, you will need to register as a Part 107. I'll talk about that in just a moment as well but I wanna point you first to this one. Probably most people, they're starting off, are not thinking right away about making money, they're like I just don't wanna crash, I wanna learn how to fly, right? Then you need to register under this option and this is just you're a hobbyist, it's for fun, there's no money being transferred, right? So you can register here and I do wanna let you know that there's actually just some news that came out this week that there's some changes, the House of Reps voted on something, now it's going onto the Senate, that FAA reauthorization bill 2018, and I don't know all the specifics of that, I'm sure we'll be learning more this week, but what I wanna encourage you with is things change, this field is rapidly changing. If you just go to the FAA's website,, this is where you can find out like the latest information, like what's going on, and it's important that you know, we stay up to date, we stay educated, we know it's happening so that we're responsible and then we don't get in trouble right? And again, this technology just exploded onto the scene, and then everyone's like wait a second, we gotta have some like rules, and there's gotta be things and then it's like it's too late, we all have drones, we're flying everywhere right? It's crazy right? So things are changing fast, just stay up to date, do some research,; that's the Federal Aviation Administration's website where you can learn the latest, so stay up on that. I'm not gonna speak to that cause I don't know enough of what's happening yet. Okay, so once you guys register, let's say you register as a hobbyist, you're gonna get a certificate; I've blocked out my information but it's basically gonna say your name, when they issued you your registration, when it expires - three years - but that option in the middle, the certificate number, that's gonna be unique to you, and that is number that you then put on your drone. So it's basically just identifying that hey, this is this person's drone, right? So, I put mine in the battery compartment, mine's written right in here, but you can put yours anywhere. I like to have mine be a little more private but some people just put a label on here; that's your choice, it just needs to be on the drone where someone can access it, access it right? So this is really easy, someone can just pop out the battery so I keep mine in here, and I just write that number down; it's as simple as that, put it on a piece of paper. Okay, so let's say you're not a hobbyist, you're like Dirk I wanna make some money man, I bought this drone, I gotta get it back right, I gotta get some money back. Well if that's you, you wanna make some money, you're gonna do weddings, real estate, movies, commercials, something like that, you need to get a Part 107 license. And at the beginning of the class when Kenna mentioned that Dirk is a licensed drone pilot, that means that I've passed this test. And so basically what this is is you've gotta study, you've gotta learn about airspace, and then you're gonna take a 60 question test, and depending on where you go it's about 150 bucks to take the test. I took mine at a local airport because there's flight school right by, and so there's helicopter pilots taking their test, there's airplane pilots taking theirs, and I was taking mine. I studied for about 35 hours so I definitely put work into it. I wanted to pass, I was like man if, if from where I drone guy doesn't pass like that's gonna look really bad right, so I had to pass. You do have to get a 70 or higher so do you have, you can miss some questions, but you have to get a 70 or higher, and I just wanna share with you just briefly, this is not a Part 107 class but just to maybe peak your interest, answer some questions, these are some of the things that are on the test. You need to be able to read charts and understand traffic patterns, you need to know about airspace, Class C, Class D, about towered airports/non-towered, about weather, you need to understand reports, air masses; some pretty sophisticated stuff. And I'll just show you a quick example of what a sectional chart looks like. So you would have to be able to read this and understand what the circles mean, what those numbers mean, and you'd have to be able to decipher that report down there, what all that code means, so again, I had to take about 35 hours to study. And depending on how you learn, you could just get a cheap book off Amazon. This is one that I highly recommend, it's called Test Prep 2018 Book, and I put a link down there so if you type in, you can check out the book that I specifically recommend. So if you, you know, you're on a budget, you can read stuff and you can retain it, you can take your notes, this is a perfect, this is a perfect tool for you to use to study for that. If you're like me though, I bought that and I was like, oh man, I need something else though, I bought a video course. So I paid for this training course and I loved it so much I asked if I could be an affiliate, so I'm actually an affiliate. They've been gracious enough to give people that use my code 50 bucks off the class. So if you use code Dirker, if you use code Dirk50, you can get 50 bucks off, and this website is a video training course. So the pilots walk you through weather, sectional charts, they do examples. So I'm very visual, I need someone to do that, to show me, I wanna watch them figure it out, and then I can take a quiz, it let's me know how I do, I took a bunch of cool practice quizzes, so I felt really prepared when I went in. So if you're like me, this might be a good resource for you.

Class Description


  • Confidently fly a drone
  • Understand basic legal requirements
  • Execute simple to intermediate drone maneuvers
  • Adjust settings for aerial photography
  • Simultaneously adjust the drone and the camera
  • Use drones to capture a variety of still and video perspectives
  • Edit aerial photography and aerial videography


Sure, drone photography looks just like playing a video game, but controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle while simultaneously working a camera takes essential know-how and practiced skills. Take off with confidence and capture aerial photography and videography at angles you never thought possible. In this beginner's class, learn essentials like safe drone flight, essential photography settings, and basic post-processing.

Work with award-winning aerial photographer Dirk Dallas as you learn to control your drone. Whether your drone is collecting dust or you've just opened the box, this class provides the essentials to fall in love with drone photography and videography. From legal restrictions to selecting and operating a drone and accessories, this class covers all the basics of aerial photography with a drone.

Explore a drone's controls, then learn exercises to help hone your flight skills. Flag potential legal restrictions in the United States. Learn settings and tips for capturing great aerial photography, then incorporate motion with video. Finally, work in image processing and video editing to fine-tune your captures. Whether you want to capture aerial images for real estate, environmental studies, commercial advertising, independent movie production, land-use planning or simply creative photography, start flying with confidence.


  • Any user new to drone flight
  • Photographers looking to expand to aerial photography
  • Videographers eager to add a new angle with drones
  • Drone newbies that want to learn new moves and tricks


FAA licensed drone pilot Dirk Dallas uses drones to capture new angles in his commercial photography and filmmaking. Also a speaker and professor, Dirk is the founder of and the host of the AdoramaTV series From Where I Drone With Dirk Dallas. Along with his creative work, he enjoys teaching and inspiring new drone pilots.


  1. Class Introduction

    Meet your instructor and find inspiration from amazing sample aerial imagery with an eagle's eye view.

  2. How Dirk Got Started With Drones

    Learn how a hobby flying RC helicopters and a newfound passion for photographer merged into a love for drone photography. Dig into the brief history of aerial photography with drone technology and see how UAVs have changed from simple tools to essentials for aerial photographers.

  3. What is a Drone?

    Before diving into aerial photography with a drone, what exactly is a drone? Learn drone basics, as well as other terms frequently used for drones like UAS, UAV, and quadcopters. Explore the different types of camera drones available, many with the best camera built right in. Walk through the different drone options from the biggest drone manufacturer, DJI.

  4. Registering Your Drone

    Aerial photography with a drone has several legal restrictions. The first step is making sure to register your drone with the FAA. Walk through the simple, inexpensive act of registering and learn to avoid scams. This lesson covers registry in the United States.

  5. Drone Terminology

    Like learning photography, aerial drone photography comes with a long list of new terminology. Dig into aerial photography jargon and learn the tools of the trade. Pick up terms like gimbal, GPS and propellers.

  6. DJI Go App

    Controlling your drone starts with an app, a controller, or both. Learn the basics of DJI's Go App and decipher what all those symbols on the screen mean. Navigate the app and get started controlling a DJI drone using the DJI Go App.

  7. FAA Drone Rules

    Aerial photography requires responsible flying. In this lesson, learn the essential FAA rules to understand before you fly. Determine No Fly Zones and avoid collisions with other drones with air traffic rules.

  8. Apps for Flying Drones

    Find all the data you need to fly a drone daunting? Apps can help simplify drone flight. Learn about apps that tell you where you can fly, the flying weather predictions, visibility conditions, drone news, and more.

  9. Pre-flight: Drone Flight Checklist

    Prep for the flight to ensure a safe, successful aerial photography shoot. Go through a checklist to make sure the area is safe and your drone is ready to fly. Make a plan for the flight -- and a backup plan.

  10. How to Fly Overview: Take off, Hover & Land

    Begin learning to fly with this overview. Cover the different drone controller controls. Practice with exercises designed to help you make drone flight feel like second nature. Learn automatic and manual methods for taking off and landing with in-field demonstrations.

  11. Straight Line & The Simple Box

    Continue honing your flight skills with exercises and skills for flight paths. Learn how to fly straight and how to fly in a simple box shape using just one stick on the controller.

  12. The 180 & The Box With Yaw

    Add in the second control stick and learn how to turn your drone around completely, called "yawing." Then, fly in a box shape with a yaw turn. Learn tricks to working with the controls like flipping the controls when the drone flips.

  13. Drawing Shapes

    Expand your drone flight exercises with additional advanced tasks to further build your flight skills. Fly in diagonals, then use both controls simultaneously to fly in a perfect circle. When you've mastered those shapes, try the figure eight exercise and orbiting.

  14. Q&A

    Find answers to the most frequently asked questions on drone flight. Students like you pose questions during the live class, while Dirk digs in and explains.

  15. DJI Intelligent Flight Modes

    DJI builds several different intelligent flight modes into their drones that allow for different flying techniques using remote sensing systems. Learn the different main flight mode options, what route they fly, and how to use the different available options. Master tricks like controlling the drone with gestures, "follow me" mode, and preset flight paths.

  16. DJI Go App: Photo Settings

    Now that you're comfortable using a controller and app to fly, what about that aerial camera? Get started on capturing digital imagery with your drone by learning the different settings. Learn how to turn the camera off auto, as well as how to manually adjust aperture, shutter speed, and aperture. Adjust settings like burst mode, bracketing, white balance, and RAW shooting. Master focus options to get a sharp, high-quality image.

  17. Tips for Capturing Drone Photos

    The perspective of aerial photography is unique -- but impressive aerial imagery is about more than just perspective. In this lesson, gain some essential aerial photography tips, like why you may want to use a low altitude instead of a high one. Learn to work with instead of against the sunshine. Consider composition and height and other aspects for the best drone photography.

  18. Creating Panoramas

    Aerial photography isn't limited to a standard aspect ratio. In this lesson, learn how to import images into Lightroom. Then, build a panorama from several overlapping aerial photos using the same software.

  19. Post Processing for Drone Photography

    Like shooting with two feet on the ground, aerial photography can often be improved with a bit of editing. Walk through the process of adjusting images inside Lightroom. Work with exposure, adding style, and color correction.

  20. DJI Go App: Video Settings

    Step from aerial photography into aerial video. Get started with drone video with the DJI Go app settings for video in a live demonstration. Learn essentials like resolution, frame rate, and shutter speed.

  21. Accessories

    Drone accessories can make flights easier and improve the quality of photos and video. Learn the ins and outs of different drone photography accessories, including landing pads, batteries, hoods, and ND filters. Explore what each one does, which ones are essential, and what's just optional.

  22. Tips for Capturing Drone Video

    Build on your aerial video capabilities with video tips for drones. With the added dimension of time, add in effects like fly over moves. Learn ways to create more dynamic video from a drone in this lesson, as well as tips to expand simply by doing more exploring.

  23. Camera Moves

    Add drama to aerial video by recording while doing cool drone moves. Learn the camera movement that's possible with aerial video using a UAV. Integrate tricks like slowly revealing the subject, using a top-down bird's-eye-view, playing with altitude, circling a subject and more to create a more dynamic video.

  24. Post Processing For Videography

    Video editing is quite different from editing still photos. Work With Adobe Premiere Pro for a few basic video edits, including importing video, then working with cropping and motion effects.

  25. Simple Color Correction For Footage

    Like with still photos, drone videos can benefit from color adjustments. Learn how to use the Lumetri Color tools inside Premiere Pro to correct colors or add style or drama through color correction.

  26. Adding Music & SFX

    Finish the class by learning to add music and sound effects to aerial footage -- since the sound of a buzzing drone isn't exactly pleasant to listen to, if your drone records audio at all. Work with basic audio in Adobe Premiere Pro. Learn how to add and adjust audio. Then, gain some final input on drone photography and videography with a brief Q&A.



Dirk really did a nice job taking new students thru exercises to gain confidence. The work in Lightroom and Photoshop was helpful, but I wish more time could have been focused on flying or tips. Dirk has presets that he offers. It would have been helpful to see the results using those presets. Looking forward to the free which Drone to buy class and the advanced class


I definitely recommend this course if you are thinking about getting into drone photography looking for the fundamentals. I now feel pretty confident I can get started and that my learning curve will be greatly shortened thanks to the technology available today and a great roadmap of getting started. If you are already started... follow up with his advanced topics... I know I will.


Super class. As a beginner I had little idea what to expect and never got started because of all the talk of people crashing drones right and left and losing a fortune. Dallas made it seem simple. So I bought a Tello beginners drone (great starter by the way), got hooked and am now flying a DJI Mavic Pro 2 and studying for a commercial license. Not sure, this is a great class to start with.