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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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Things to do while in Singapore

Posted By Alan Wee, Friday, February 3, 2017
Updated: Friday, February 3, 2017
Singapore is a great introduction to Asia, everyone speaks English, taxis are reasonable to travel around in, the streets are clean and SAFE (you can wander around alone pretty much anywhere at any time of the day), food is good and reasonable.  We are a major financial hub for South East Asia, so we have all nationalities here, in addition to the native Chinese, Malay and Indian population.  This means you can get anything from a fantastic grilled Japanese eel meal, craft brewed German beer, Swiss rosti, authentic Italian, Middle Eastern cuisine and pretty much anything in between.  Our multi-cultural background promises lots to see and experience.
First, around SNEC
You can get food around the hospital, but its still hospital food.  If you have some time, the surrounding areas have some gems.
Tiong Bahru Market
This is one of the oldest wet markets in Singapore.  If you stay around the SNEC area, make it a point to go to Tiong Bahru market in the morning for breakfast before the day's work starts and see how we locals start our day.  The first floor houses the stores that sell meat, fish, vegetables, spices and household items.  It's quite a special experience to walk around and take in the sights, sounds and smells.  
The second floor has all kinds of food stalls selling Chinese, Malay and Indian food.  Walk around the second floor and have a look at what the locals are eating before trying out something.  Good recommendations might be fried carrot cake (savory radish flour cake fried with eggs), traditional kaya jam on toast (sweet coconut jam), Soya milk made fresh (Teck Seng Soya Milk is the bomb!
The Tiong Bahru area is slowly gentrifying so you find nice upmarket food options like the Tiong Bahru Bakery, PS Cafe, Open Door Policy etc.   There are a fair number of quaint shops to poke around in as well. 
Nylon Coffee Roasters
Widely recognized as one of the best coffee places in Singapore, they are owner-run and roast their own coffees in house.  Dennis and Jia Min take great pride in seeking out the best green coffees they can get their hands on and presenting them in a way that shows off the coffee's attributes.  They don't serve food but have lots of neighboring shops that do a nice meal. 
Highlander Coffee
These guys have probably been around a long time in the coffee scene.  They also serve their own house blend that is sensibly dark roasted and tasty. They have nice sandwiches and wraps.
There is a nice cluster of food places about 10 minutes from SGH that is worth exploring.


Man Man Unagi restaurant serves Japanese grilled eel.  They fly in live eels from Japan.  The head chef has 20 years of experience preparing unagi.  They dispatch the live eel in the window and grill it to order.   This rivals some of the best grilled eel meals you can get in Japan: crispy on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside.  Excellent stuff, but there is a queue that starts from 11:30am and doesn't really die down till 1:30pm or so.  Last orders for lunch are at 2:30pm.


Apiary ice cream is set up by 2 young guys and is 2 minutes walk from Man Man. Try my favorite Ferrero Rocher Ice cream which I happily drive across town for when the mood strikes.  Or they have an excellent selection of ice creams that they prepare in house.

The Botanist is an excellent coffee place that serves a refined lunch menu. It's botanical themed interior helps with escaping the heat as well!

There are also many excellent dining options on Keong Saik Street near SGH.


Burnt Ends is extremely well respected among the fine dining crowd and serves a really excellent lunch.  Not cheap but worth the money!
Smith Street, Temple Street, Mosque Street
This is an area of nearby Chinatown that is nice to explore for the shops and food along with the Chinese and Indian temples (for the shutterbugs).  You can spend a few hours wandering around, shopping and eating.  There are a whole cluster of shops on Temple Street that supply equipment to the F&B industry (Sia Huat, Lau Choy Seng), you can look inside and gawk at the huge size and variety of cooking tools & vessels and pick up some nice buys
Haji Lane, Arab Street, Sultan Mosque, NOX, MRS PHO
This area has lots of nice shops selling quirky interesting fashion, knick knacks and good food.  It is a traditional Malay area and houses the spectacular Sultan Mosque which you can visit and photograph. I'd definitely recommend checking this area out, it's a crowd-pleaser for both the guys and the girls.
NOX is an interesting concept (since we're all "eye" people).  It's a restaurant where you dine in pitch darkness and are served by visually impaired wait staff.  You can tell them what you don't eat, but otherwise everything served to you is a mystery which you then discuss with your dining friends and finally talk with the sighted wait staff at the end of the meal.  Quite an experience and you should make reservations.
MRS PHO is an authentic Vietnamese eatery that is cheap, good and comes complete with slightly rushed and brusque service.  I really like the food here.
Once the day's activities are done, some food recommendations to go try with friends:
These guys serve amazing food and are one of the more exciting culinary concepts around.  They serve modern Middle Eastern cuisine that has big flavors and makes people happy when they eat it. Definitely worth going in a group so you can try lots of stuff!

Nude Seafood
This place is run by a really passionate team with lots of heart.  One of the owners comes from a seafood trading background, so they have access to really excellent quality seafood.  They use modern cooking techniques and serve up seafood in very exciting and tasty ways (they smoke their salmon in-house and it tastes unlike any of the commercial stuff you might be used to) 
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
Contrary to the name, this is actually THE groundbreaking coffee establishment in Singapore.  They setup shop in a traditional industrial area (hence the name) and totally renovated the building.  It's now a hip cafe on the ground floor.  They have a coffee roastery and coffee academy on the premises.  At night, it's a buzzing craft beer spot. 
Night Safari and the Singapore Zoo
The Night Safari is something I recommend people check out, simply because there are not many night zoos around the world and I think we do a good job.  Most people will come about  7pm, but I recommend coming about  9pm and plan to leave by 11pm+ (it closes at  midnight).  You can take a tram around the zoo but there is sometimes a long queue.  The night safari is designed so you can walk and explore it as well.  It's fairly cool at night so this can be a nice option.
The Singapore Zoo is really good too if you can spare the time during the day to visit.


For the shutterbugs among us - here's a list of photo venues I highly recommend checking out!
Cultural: Little India, Chinatown:There are a good number of Indian temples and Chinese temples to take photographs at in addition to the authentic shops and eateries.
Tiong Bahru Market: In addition to the good eats around this place, there are also interesting market activities to take photos of. I like watching the fishmongers expertly fillet the various fishes using a big old Chinese cleaver. 
Architecture: One Fullerton gives a nice view of the marina bay and the Marina Bay Sands casino (looks like a ship on top of 3 buildings), you can also admire the Fullerton hotel which used to be the general post office during British colonial times.  Take a short stroll over to the Victoria Concert Hall and the Cavenagh Bridge for old British architecture. And then it's another short walk to explore the national gallery which is pretty big and always has a few exhibitions going on.
Flora & Fauna:  The Singapore Zoo is fantastic for the greenery and natural enclosures for the animals. The other good spots for greenery are the Gardens found nearby the bay, in addition to the Singapore Botanic gardens (a UNESCO heritage site). The botanic gardens are worth a visit because they are fairly accessible, and there are amenities like a cafe.  It's free to enter and explore but you can also arrange a small group and contact the botanic gardens directly and they might be able to host a small group to move around the gardens.


This is only the smallest sample of what Singapore has to offer visitors and I think you will enjoy your visit!


Google Maps is an amazing program - I was able to create a custom map of the different locations mentioned above. This map includes extra places to visit in addition to the places mentioned in the article. Look forward to seeing you all at ICOP!!

Alan Wee runs around for his work most of the time visiting hospitals and clinics in his role as a service and applications engineer with an ophthalmic equipment company. He manages to find time to explore the many eateries and interesting spots around Singapore.

Tags:  blog  education  Educational Meeting  ICOP  Singapore  Special Events  Travel 

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International Conference on Ophthalmic Photography - Singapore March 3-5th 2017

Posted By Chris Barry, FOPS, Friday, October 28, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I first visited Singapore in 1975, a long time ago, and possibly before many of our potential delegates were born! Even then, Singapore was a dynamic bustling Asian port. Today, Singapore is an international metropolis and gateway to Asia.


Spectacular waterfront of modern Singapore


The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC)  started operations in 1990. Today, the SNEC has almost 250,000 outpatient visits, 14,000 major eye surgeries and 13,000 laser procedures per year. The SNEC is a major centre in Asia for ophthalmic practice, research and teaching.




Dennis Orlock with Joseph Ho, Paul Chua
and Kasi Sandhanam at the Imaging
Department of the Singapore National
Eye Centre (circa 2008).

The Singapore National Eye Centre
officially opened 1990.





The entrance to SNEC (circa 1980).


The International Conference on Ophthalmic Photography has a long and distinguished heritage. Originally the idea came from Don Wong (one of our illustrious OPS founders) and in 1996 the first ICOP took place in Rome. Every four years since, there has been an ICOP. The year 2000 in Singapore, then Adelaide Australia, Oxford (UK), San Francisco (X2) and Toronto (X2).

What should we expect at ICOP?

Firstly, it is a totally different format with only one lecture timeline. Therefore we are all in the same room, share breaks and mingle continuously. The format is engineered for making friends, having fun and being exposed to different knowledgeable and experienced speakers from across the globe. It is often surprising how other photographers solve problems and find answers to those things that just drive you crazy! Plenty of time is left open to sample the delights that Singapore has to offer. There will be a photographic competition for delegates, see the details on the OPS website ( ICOP is a jointly organized conference by the OPS, British, Dutch and Australian ophthalmic photographers. It will be held in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) which attracts high profile speakers worldwide including the latest in ophthalmic research.

Singapore 2000 was my first ICOP, what did it offer?

For a start, Singapore is a fabulous place, melding Asian/European and far Eastern cultures with a huge range of food, peoples and experiences: a true "melting pot” of  traditions from around the world tempered by an Asian/Oriental outlook.  It is easy to get around in Singapore, most people have English as a first language. There is an excellent transport system with English signage. Most good airlines go to Singapore and for the more adventurous Asia is only a short plane ride away (Ankor Wat is one hour away!). Power voltage is 220 (So you will need a transformer if you use 110V), the plugs are UK style three pin, so a converter is necessary. Singapore has a friendly and helpful population with an extremely low crime rate. It is a high energy and hectic lifestyle whilst you feel safe at all the local tourist spots.

ICOP remains a highlight of learning and interacting with like-minded ophthalmic photographers. Many of the people that I met at the previous Singapore have remained good friends and I look forward to seeing many of them again and to making new friends 16 years later.

Stay tuned for more information as we roll out this truly wonderful opportunity. There will be updates on Social Media, the OPS website and any other way we can send you details.

Singapore is safe, central to all of Asia, English speaking, westernized yet with the flavour of an exotic and exciting experience. Don’t miss out, start your planning now this could be the experience of a lifetime!

Tags:  2017  blog  education  Educational Meeting  ICOP  Singapore  Travel 

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ICOP- the tradition continues

Posted By Paula Morris, CRA, FOPS, Friday, June 17, 2016
Updated: Friday, June 17, 2016

Once upon a time there was a brilliant and talented group of ophthalmic photographers in the U.S. who were on a quest to improve their skills and build their fledgling profession.  A society had already been formed which was dedicated to furthering their field and educating ophthalmic photographers about new instruments, new techniques, and what the role ophthalmic photography would take in the practice of treating patients with eye disorders.

But this intrepid group understood that if wonderful new things were being developed and were happening in North America, even more could be learned from photographers across the globe! 

So they set out to establish a meeting that would bring together international practitioners in this new profession of ophthalmic photography to exchange ideas, learn alternatives, and expand their collective knowledge.  This dedicated team, which included OPS members Don Wong, Marlene Fishman, Larry Merin, Albert Aandekirk, and Sadao Kanagami, produced what was called the first International Meeting and Technical Workshop in Rome, in 1986. It was a tremendous success as a common meeting place for imagers from North America, Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

And thus the international meeting that was soon to become known as the International Conference on Ophthalmic Photography, ICOP, was born.  It was decided that such a large undertaking was could not be accomplished often, so the tradition of holding ICOP meetings every four years was started.  And it was also determined that the meeting needed to move around the globe in order to give better access to photographers from different hemispheres.  The result has been a delightful collection of exciting meeting venues:













San Francisco









And now, dear reader, ICOP consists of collaboration between four imaging societies:  the Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society, the Ophthalmic Imaging Association of the UK, the Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustrators, and the Ooghelkundige Fotografie Nederland – Ophthalmic Photography Netherlands.  Each group brings their expertise, knowledge, and enthusiasm for ophthalmic imaging and it has been a very successful partnership!  Yes!  Some venues have been visited twice, and happily, ICOP will return to Singapore next March, 2017!  The tradition continues!

The Singapore National Eye Centre has graciously agreed to host the next ICOP at their wonderful facility.  A three day meeting of lectures, scientific papers, exchange of ideas, and comradery with old and new friends and colleagues is planned – a wonderful educational experience in a beautiful setting.  What more could one want?  There is no better way to start globetrotting than to build your journey around an outstanding educational program!

OPS members have already received a "Save the Date” notice via email, and the ICOP website link is coming soon with information about the meeting schedule, the excellent venue, accommodation, registration, and the delightful city of Singapore!  Start planning now!

Tags:  2017  education  Educational Meeting  ICOP  Singapore  Special Events  Travel 

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