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Welcome to the Ophthalmic Photographers' Society Blog! The posts on this blog are authored by a myriad of individuals in Ophthalmology. Posts are not always authored by those directly affiliated with the Ophthalmic Photographers' Society and opinions may not be those of the OPS; however, all posts are submitted to a review process and have been approved by the OPS before being posted. Comments are open to the public. New posts are added every Friday, so make sure to check back often!


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Discovering the OPS

Posted By John Hensel, Monday, December 12, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

There have always been two sides to me, the artistic and the scientific. As a professional photographer and artist based in Boston, I have passionately pursued my artistic side. Yet I've always found myself spending much of my leisure time reading about science, and imagining what it would be like to make a contribution in that field. So I was delighted to come across the field of Ophthalmic Photography. It offered the opportunity to apply my photographic knowledge to the pursuit of medical advances and to do something good in the world. I was so intrigued that I took the plunge, signing up for the OPS Annual Program to learn all about the field and see whether it could be a good fit for my passions (to make a long story short it was all that I hoped it would be!)

In prepping for the conference, I found the OPS Lending Library as well as the OPS Website to be wonderful resources that allowed me to learn the basics of eye anatomy and ophthalmic photography as I eagerly anticipated getting to the conference to learn more. Sarah Moyer Armstrong was extremely helpful, thorough and informative in her responses to my inquiries on course selection. With Sarah's advice I took the Crash Course, as well as intro courses and workshops on Fundus Photography, Fluorescein Angiography and OCT-A as well as the stunning course "Best of the Best". Upon meeting Sarah at the conference, her warmth, encouragement, and introductions were invaluable. I cannot thank her enough.


Myself with Sarah Moyer Armstrong, CRA, OCT-C, FOPS at the OPS Business Meeting (Photo by Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS )


Crash Course Class of 2016. It was a lot of fun! (Photo by Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)


As a "newbie" I was amazed at the generous amount of hands-on and small group training, not to mention the one-on-one interactions I was able to have with experts in the field; a special thank you to Bob CavicchiSarah Moyer ArmstrongHouston Sharpe IIIHoang NguyenJim Soque and many others.

I also especially appreciated the combination of lecture courses with associated workshops as it satisfied my curiosity on the science/context/history and how it related to the "how to".


 Great Hands-on Training with Instructor Adeline M Stone, COT, CRA, CDOS (Photo by Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)


There were also the fascinating special events such as the Scientific Paper Session and the reception where I was warmly welcomed by my instructors, fellow students, and committee members. I felt excited by the potential to join this community of highly engaged photographers.

And for a fun break and mixer, there was the photo scavenger hunt! Here is my team, literally embodying the OPS!


My Scavenger Hunt Team.  (Photo by Chuck Hamm, CRA, OCT-C)


Lastly, one particular highlight I will always remember… the incoming President Michael Kelly took the time to give a lecture in the Crash Course. He spoke of the fascinating detective work that goes into imaging difficult cases. I was intrigued by the iterative methodology of combining techniques and subtly altering standard methodologies to get to the bottom of unusual cases. He was speaking my language, and of my dreams to use my photographic knowledge to make a contribution to medicine/science and to helping patients.


Thank you Michael Kelly, FOPS (Photo by Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)


I take my hat off to the incredible all-volunteer effort that produced a conference that was well organized, educational, welcoming, and inspiring. Thank you!

I also have some exciting news since returning home from the conference. I will be beginning my first Ophthalmic Photographer position at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in January, 2017! I can’t wait!


Bio: John Hensel has a BA in visual arts from Oberlin College. Currently he is a professional photographer, business owner, and artist living in Boston, MA. He is very excited to begin a career in ophthalmic photography!

Tags:  2016  AAO  blog  Chicago  education  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  Professionalism  Special Events  Study  Travel 

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Who What Where and Why of the Board of Certification

Posted By Denice Barsness, CRA, COMT, ROUB, CDOS, Thursday, June 11, 2015
Updated: Friday, June 19, 2015


In this age of social media, webinars and computers on your wrist, there is still a profound value in face-to-face collaboration. To this end, the BOC met in Ann Arbor on April 24 and 25 to work together on a series of projects demanding board attention. For those of you who are unsure about the role of the Board of Certification, this board was founded in 1978 with the mission of creating a nationally recognized certification (the CRA) and for the continuous maintenance of all certification programs. Out of collaborative efforts such as these was born the now defunct COPRA, and the majestically current and relevant OCT-C exams. These exams don’t happen in a vacuum. There is no agency to vendor out the continuous evolution that our programs demand. It takes the dedication and hard work of the members of the BOC in partnership with the Board of Directors and the collaborative efforts of many to keep our CRA and OCT-C current, viable, and desirable.

At this meeting the CRA Guide was examined and modified, work was done on the application database, policies and procedures were edited for application of electronic methods to the testing procedure(s). Section chairs met in small groups to brainstorm the streamlining of many facets of the exam process. Discussions were conducted on how to improve the application procedures to include electronic scoring of performance exams to expedite the outcomes. The Election committee met to discuss upcoming elections and means to attract qualified, dedicated and ambitious OPS members to the board. Methods to post CEC approved meetings on the website in a more efficient manner were discussed.

Plans for upcoming CRA examination in Ann Arbor June 26 and possible venues for 2016 were reviewed. The production of the CRA and OCT-C examinations are the prime directive of the BOC. Their "care and feeding” occupies the majority of BOC business throughout the year.

Serving on a board is a lifelong bonding experience. The contributions of all boards to the society are immeasurable, as are the relationships and friendships that spring from giving back to a professional organization. As a member of an OPS board, in some fashion, for the past 33 years I can certainly attest to that! I urge everyone out there in OPS land to consider how you can impact your professional world - and make some mighty fine friends in the process!

Denice Barsness, CRA, COMT, ROUB, CDOS
Past president, OPS
Current BOC member

Tags:  Ann Arbor  blog  BOC  education  Educational Meeting  Meaningful Use  Professional Development Committee  Professionalism 

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Keynote Speaker Spotlight: Cagri G. Besirli, M.D., Ph.D.

Posted By Elaine Lok, CRA, Friday, March 13, 2015
Updated: Friday, May 15, 2015


"Ultrasonography for Intraocular Tumors" and "Telemedicine for Pediatric Retinal Diseases"

Speaker: Cagri G. Besirli, M.D., Ph.D, University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center


Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015 @ 11:15AM-12:15PM



The Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society is pleased to announce Dr. Cagri Besirli the second of two keynote speakers for the 2015 Mid-Year Program.

Please join us for Dr. Besirli’s 60 minute presentation on two topics in the morning on Saturday, June 27th: The utilization of ultrasound in documenting intraocular tumors, and Kellogg Eye Center’s telemedicine advances in documenting and treating pediatric retinal diseases will be discussed.

A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Besirli is a vitreoretinal specialist with a focus on ocular trauma surgeries and pediatric retinal disorders.


Talk 1

Ultrasonography for Intraocular Tumors

Course Description: The principles of ophthalmic ultrasound and its role in the diagnosis of intraocular tumors will be reviewed using a case study approach.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the attendee should be able to describe different ultrasound techniques used in the evaluation of intraocular tumors, list the steps involved in patient evaluation, and discuss the ultrasonographic findings seen in common tumors.


Talk 2

Telemedicine for Pediatric Retinal Diseases

Course Description: The emerging field of ophthalmic telemedicine for the evaluation and diagnosis of children with retinal disorders will be discussed, with special attention given to the role of photographic screening in Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the attendee should be able to describe the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine for ROP screening, discuss the findings of major clinical trials evaluating the photographic screening of ROP, list the challenges faced by ophthalmic telemedicine programs.


Elaine Lok, CRA

Education Chair 2015 Mid Year Program

Program Information

Mid-Year Program Information

Mid-Year Program Registration

Tags:  2015  American Society of Retina Specialists  Ann Arbor  blog  education  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  Keynote Speaker  Meaningful Use  Mid-year  PDC  Professionalism  Special Events  Study  Travel 

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My First OPS Meeting!

Posted By Jonathan Brett, Friday, November 7, 2014
Updated: Friday, November 7, 2014



I was fortunate enough to win the overall prize at the 2013 Ophthalmic Imaging Association conference in the UK with this image showing a vitreous veil. This image was taken on the Optos on a young baby using the techniques devised by C.K Patel.

Another image I entered which I thought was relevant was this Anish Kapoor inspired silicon oil bubble selfie image (unfortunately this didn't win).

I arrived late on the Thursday in Chicago and had a stroll around the city admiring the architecture. Staying on the Michigan Avenue Golden Mile was a great location for the conference!

The first lecture on the first day was a really interesting talk on paediatric imaging, lots of great RetCam photographs and it was fascinating to hear a different approach to paediatric imaging.

I enjoyed an amazing talk by Denise Cunningham on Advanced Fundus Autofluorescence imaging. She illustrated the advantage of pre-bleaching the retina and being aware of the potential damage to patients with Stargardts.

The lecture on high-speed ICG was interesting , showing how to image feeder vessels. This technique is something that I have brought back to the UK and I am using in clinic.

It was great to learn about the history of ophthalmic imaging in the J. Donald M. Gass Memorial Lecture as well as the contributions made by Dr Gass.

There were great workshops on anterior segment photography and getting hands on a selection of the slit lamp instruments was really useful.  I also had a go at gonio photography, thankfully on a test eye as this was something I had never tried.  After the workshop I feel pretty confident that I can take reasonable photographs and I am looking forward to having a go!

The talk by SriniVas Sadda on OCT technology was mind blowing! En face OCT and OCT angiography is the way forward and I hope to have a go on these machines soon.

Overall it was a great experience attending the conference and I feel very lucky to have had the chance to be there. There were so many great talks ranging from the early contributions made by Don Gass and Johnny Justice to the future of ophthalmic imaging.

Thanks to everyone at OIA and Topcon for giving me this opportunity and thank you to the OPS for and amazing conference!

Jonathan Brett.

Jonathan Brett is a member of OIA and has been since 2004. He purely works within ophthalmic photography but also produces any other graphic/photography/video work that is required. He has a background in art and design! He was able to come to the OPS conference in 2005 which was also in Chicago and to ICOP when it came to Oxford.

Tags:  AAO  blog  Chicago  education  Educational Meeting  PDC  Professionalism  Special Events  Travel 

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How Was Your Trip?

Posted By Rachel A. Hollar CRA OCT-C, Friday, October 24, 2014

Good Morning Readers!


Another wonderful AAO meeting has just come to an end and we all would love to hear about your experiences over the academy week.  


Chicago is an amazing city! What did you see or do while in the city? Did you take any picture? Have any fun stories? 


For many of us, it was our first meeting. What did you think? Did you have any trouble finding your classes? Did you make new friends? Was this your first time being surrounded by like-minded photographers? 


Many of us were active participants at this event. Some spoke during lectures, others assisted with workshops, others still helped coordinate events and others took pictures. What was your experience? Was this your first time participating in that way? What did you do and why? How did the experience effect you and what would you say to others considering the same?

Please do not hesitate to submit your story to this blog - we want to hear from you!

To submit your stories for this blog, contact me, Rachel Hollar, at (In the subject bar please reference the OPS Blog or AAO Chicago 2014.)

I am happy to answer any questions you might have about writing for the OPS Blog and look forward to reading about all of your experiences.

Tags:  AAO  blog  Chicago  education  Educational Meeting  Interactive  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Professionalism  Travel 

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