Use The International Dateline To Your Advantage

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10/02/08 – Use The International Dateline To Your Advantage

Do you sometimes wish you had more than 24 hours in a day? Wish you could maximize your travel and cram in more work time? Believe it or not you can**!!!

**You can sort of, in theory, technically on paper this is correct

For those of you who have traveled across the International Date Line you know that when flying from Asia to North America you can land long before you have taken off (according to the calendar). It’s always fun to take off from Nagoya, Japan (NGO) and land in Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) 12 hours before you departed.

Using the International Date Line I have managed to, on one single calendar date, depart Hong Kong (HKG), head to Incheon (ICN), shoot feature images in Nagoya (NGO), have a meeting in Honolulu (HNL) and grab dinner in Los Angeles (LAX) before flying home. To handle this schedule I had to very carefully plan my flight schedule and fly three overnight “red-eye” flights to jam it all in.

This past week I planned my schedule to be able to handle two completely different photo shoots, on two continents, with the first shoot ending “after” the second one “began.” Confusing? I know, reading it can be confusing, but let me explain. On the 8th of February I started my day at 7:00am in Hong Kong, I was out shooting street feature photos by 8:00am and finished up shortly after 2:00pm. At 6:15pm on the 8th of February my flight from Hong Kong (HKG) to Vancouver (YVR) departed……..I arrived at YVR at 1:30pm on the 8th of February and I met the groom I was off to shoot an engagement session with shortly before 2:00pm.

By carefully planning my schedules, I was able to shoot two completely different jobs, in two different countries, on two different continents, on the 8th of February. Street feature images in Hong Kong, China and an engagement session in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

I enjoy working this way. By starting at the furthest point and working my way backwards I can shoot more in less time. This actual maximization of my time is not theory. What I do is lose a day traveling west over the International Date Line and then gain my day back travel each across the international dateline on the way home. By following the path of sunrises and timing my flights I can often do a significant amount of work on the ground in the span of four days.

If you’re interested in learning how to carefully choose your flights departure and arrival times, to maximize your time, drop me an e-mail at or you’re interested in learning in-depth information on traveling as a photographer, join me for my No Jet Lag Workshops. You can find out the details of these workshops online at

Below are two images shot on the 8th of February 2008, the first in Hong Kong and the second in Vancouver, BC.

Happy Flying!

–Click The Images To Enlarge Them–


  1. The question is did anyone go with you? Were there any students or attendees for the short course of the No Jet Lag Workshop.

  2. The participants in my No Jet Lag Workshop were with me in Hong Kong, however they did not accompany me to my engagement session in Vancouver that started immediately upon my arrival there.

    The participants and I arrived in Hong Kong late Wednesday night, we checked in to the hotel shortly after midnight. Early Thursday morning we started a 17 hour day of shooting, followed by an early start on Friday morning before heading back to the airport to catch our flight back to Vancouver.

    My schedule of stacking both The No Jet Lag Workshop, which included coverage of the Chinese New Year Night Parade in Hong Kong and the following engagement session shoot in Vancouver, were planned carefully to maximize my time.

    One of the participants in my No Jet Lag Photo Workshop embraced the concept of working until you drop completely! She flew back from Hong Kong catching the next available flight routings home to Florida to shoot a wedding the next day!

    Happy Flying!

  3. I just experienced this on Valentines Day – we left Kota Kinabalu at 11:45am, did about 23 hours of traveling (including layovers) and arrived back home at SJC at 10PM. The longest Valentines Day I had ever experienced 🙂

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