Okay, okay… maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. I didn’t exactly break my foot while taking this photo, so much as I broke my foot (soon) after taking this photo. There was, unfortunately, no heroic act of photography that went into the creation of this image; my feet were firmly planted on concrete, behind a guard rail.

So, here’s the whole story. Late last year I traveled to Hong Kong for work. I had been Googling around, trying to find the best places to photograph the city, when I stumbled upon Victoria Peak. The Peak, as it is referred to locally, sits on a mountain top high above the city, and offers amazing views of the area. It’s a bit surreal actually, sitting up there looking down at the massive urban expanse that is Hong Kong. Beautiful place! Well, I found my spot and camped out there for a bit until the sun had set (which was amazing) and the last of the alpine glow had disappeared, giving way to the electric glow of all the buildings and streets below. I had heard rumor that there was a “trail”, which had just as good of a view as the overlook I had stopped on (which is on top of a multi-story shopping mall), but without all the people, so I decided to try to locate it for perhaps another shoot later in the week.

Given that “not a lot of people go there”, I assumed that would mean “not a lot of people know where it is”, so instead of asking for directions, I just started walking down unlit paths that seemed to be heading in the general direction I assumed it to be, based on pictures I had seen. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten fairly good at navigating new places this way. Anyway, the unlit part was the problem. Bear in mind I had a flashlight with me, as well as a headlamp, I just chose not to use them for whatever reason. So here I go, walking in the dark — in Hong Kong — and about 15 minutes in, I stepped in a pothole. I stepped in a stupid pothole! As soon as I did it, it rolled my ankle and I heard a snap. I was initially concerned that I had broken my ankle, but after a quick self assessment I determined I had broken my foot instead. Good times! Luckily I had my tripod with me, which I began using like a cane, and I managed to hobble my way back to the bus stop, and then back to the hotel. Needless to say, it was excruciating!

For those that don’t know, part of my job entails me touring data center facilities (think huge rooms full of rows and rows of stacks of computers) around the world. The next several days consisted of me limping around the city on a broken foot; first using an umbrella as a cane, then on a single crutch (because I had one broken foot, why would I need two crutches?), and finally on two crutches… which in classically stereotypical form, were too short.

Fast-forward to today, and I’m all but 100% better. I’ve started running again a little bit, and my foot feels fine for the most part, aside from a bit of odd feedback every once in a while, which I understand to be normal. I’ve learned my lesson though, when I return to Hong Kong (which I’m scheduled to do later this year), I’ll be using my flashlights, and paying attention to where I’m walking. Oh, and I’ll be opting in to that international healthcare coverage! 🙂

–Dan Thompson

Victoria Peak