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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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Facebook and the "Week of Montage"

Posted By The Gnomes Behind the Curtain, Friday, October 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013

Each week, the Professional Development Committee's Facebook team publishes a challenge on Facebook. These are posted with the purpose of fostering the community and sparking dialogue about ophthalmic imaging. It also gives us the opportunity to share our work with the society (and Facebook stalkers at large). As it goes with most challenges, the more the merrier --  This week, in the wacky land of Facebook, retinal periphery is all the rage. Make sure to check out the fantastic montages that are being created and posted for all to ooo and awe over.

Have you got an amazing montage of your very own??? Then don't be selfish - show it to the rest of us!! Send your images to Be sure to check back often as the theme does change on a weekly basis.  Check out the October - December line up below.  

Oct 7 -  Random Ophthalmic Questions You Have Always Wanted To Ask - Amy
Oct 14 -  Montages- Chuck
Oct 21 -  Are YOU Ready for New Orleans? - Sarah 
Oct 28 -  Halloween, Spooky Faces, etc - Noelle
Nov 4 -  Name that Diagnosis - Amy
Nov 11 -  Favorite Anterior Segment OCT images- Chuck
Nov 15 -  LIVE from New Orleans-  Rona (starting Friday)
Nov 25 -  Happy Thanksgiving!  Facebook Team is off this week.
Dec 2 -  Share Your Personal Photos from Thanksgiving - Amy
Dec 9 -  Pictures from OPS Annual Program in New Orleans- Sarah
Dec 16 -   FA Descriptive Interpretation -Noelle
Dec 23 -   Merry Christmas! Facebook Team is off this week.
Dec 30 -   Best FB images of 2013 - Noelle 

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Facebook page, here’s the link:

OR --> Download a free QR app and check us out...

Tags:  blog  cute  education  Facebook  funny  Interactive  Meaningful Use  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Social Media 

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What is Pinterest?

Posted By Noelle Pensec, Friday, October 4, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013

With the social media explosion that’s been going on for the last few years, it’s no easy task to keep on top of all the newest web crazes. Most of you have probably heard of Pinterest, but maybe you aren’t too sure what really makes it special and sets it apart from the hundreds of other social networks. Not to mention all the fancy lingo that people tend to use when "in the know” about the site (pins? repins? boards? hashtags? followers?) it can all get a bit confusing.

So let’s get started with the basics. What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a social networking bookmarking site. Imagine a virtual pin-board of all of your favorite things. If you’ve ever delved into scrapbooking this might feel a little more familiar to you. Each registered user creates specialized boards where they can organize their pins into categories however they choose. Here’s the catch: Pinterest is an entirely visual experience, so all pins must contain an image of some kind. (This is a good thing!) Images can be pinned from any website, as well as uploaded from your own computer. When you post a pin, it shows up in your Home Feed, as well as that of your followers. The more followers you have, the further your posts will reach! The majority of Pinterest users (over 70 million worldwide) use the site to post anything from recipes, home decor, hobbies, crafts, fashion, or other inspirational content. Basically, you name it, it’s being posted to Pinterest.

To make things easier for those beginners out there, here’s a list of all the Pinterest "lingo”:

Pin - A pin is a post on Pinterest. Pins are images found anywhere on the internet or uploaded from a personal computer, with added text. When you see a pin from a website (the above image was uploaded directly) double-clicking the image will bring you directly to the source page.

Repin - Repins are basically the "share” function of Pinterest. When you see an interesting post from someone you’re following, you can repin it to one of your own boards. This will share the post with everyone that’s following you. Soon enough the post could go viral!

Like - Another option with interesting posts is to Like them. Posts that you Like on Pinterest will show up in a separate tab on your user profile, easy to access. Liked posts will not be re-posted to the home feed.

Hashtag - A #hashtag is a label which is used in many social media platforms for grouping and searching posts. On Pinterest it works as a quick search link. Some of the main hashtags used by the OPS Pinterest page are #Ophthalmology and #OphthalmicPhotography. These help our posts to become more visible and bring users back to our boards, and eventually, our website.

Board - Boards are sub-categories where you place your pins to keep them organized. In the above image (and of course when you visit you can see the many boards that are active on the OPS page.

Followers/Following - You can choose to follow a user which will automatically follow all of their boards. You can also choose to follow individual boards. Any pins posted to boards you are following will populate your home feed. When you pin something, this is of course published to anyone following you and/or your board.

Home feed - The home feed is where you will find all of the recent pins from users and boards that you are following. It is constantly updated as new content is pinned.

Click through - Any images pinned from web pages will direct you to the source page by double clicking on the pin. This is known as a "click through”.

So you may be wondering, where does the OPS fit in to all of this? The OPS has been building up a strong presence on Facebook, where we have a very successful page with over 850 viewers. While the Ophthalmology community on Pinterest isn’t as huge as, for instance, crafts or fashion, it is definitely out there, active, and growing. The content that is posted on the OPS Pinterest page is widespread and includes eye health information and news, general photography tips, science photography, as well as OPS specific news items, promotions, blog updates, articles, and of course, the best Ophthalmic images we have to offer.

With this outreach we are continually opening up new doors for our organization and our field. The page has been taking off since it was started earlier this year and only keeps growing. As we gain more followers and more users repin and like our pins, we will rank higher in the search function bringing more viewers back to our boards and in turn, the OPS website.

So how can you help the OPS Pinterest page? Check it out yourself! What we need most are active users liking and repinning our content so it looks "more important” to Pinterest’s search algorithms. This will help our content to get seen which will help us to reach the maximum amount of people, and promote the OPS message. Creating an account on Pinterest is easy and quick, and who knows, you may find yourself a new internet addiction! (Just kidding on that last part...haha) Another great way to help is to submit content to be pinned. What better way to help promote the OPS than by sharing our own amazing images! If you have any images or content in mind for any of our categories, please do not hesitate to email them to

Check out today!

Noelle Pensec

Editor, OPS Pinterest page

Member, Professional Development Committee

Noelle Pensec has been working as an Ophthalmic Photographer at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City for 3 years. She graduated in 2010 from Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biomedical Photographic Communications. Not much of a city girl, Noelle enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, biking, and breathing fresh air.

Tags:  blog  cute  education  funny  Ice Breakers  Interactive  Meaningful Use  Pinterest  Social Media 

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Posted By Hillary Bernard, Friday, April 26, 2013
Updated: Friday, April 26, 2013

Who hasn’t been asked "what’s it like to have” fill in the blank… When working with eyes, whether imaging them or making prescription lenses, everyone assumes you know what it’s like to be blind or to have certain diseases. How can we describe to someone what it is in fact like to have a degenerative disease that we have never experienced?

As imagers, we can describe the physical characteristics, the part that the curious person generally isn’t so curious about. Want to know about ARMD? Sure, I can describe what it looks like from MY eyes when imaging it. I can describe the process and breakdown of the retina and how it affects Bruch’s membrane or the RPE; but what it really looks like from the patient’s perspective? Luckily, I am at a loss.

But now technology has a way of keeping up with us! The Braille Institute has come up with an app called VisionSim that allows you to "see” with certain diseases. Using your camera on your phone or other device, it simulates what the world would look like at different stages of disease.

The app shows macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, and diabetic retinopathy. So you know that kind old lady with macular degeneration that drives herself in from out of town every six weeks for her injections? Ever wonder what the road map looks like to her when she is on her way to you? Well now you can see it for yourself… Over time that little blind spot becomes invasive and all consuming.

How about that patient who has a constant battle with their forever worsening glaucoma? They say it is like getting tunnel vision, and while I feel confident I may have actually experienced "tunnel vision” during a few of the more stressful moments in life, it has immediately corrected itself. But what is it like for those who are not so fortunate?

A simulation of cataract is another common condition which is available to be observed. As my grandfather described it to me- the world gets brighter and everything has a glare. Sort of like a migraine maybe? I was always curious how it compared with normal vision and always hoping to never find out. Well the app gods heard my thoughts because here it is in all its glory. This one seems to me to give a bit more realistic simulation than the glaucoma simulation in its representation, but how can I really know for sure?!


And finally, the diabetic retinopathy simulation. I have often heard exclamations of "Oh my gosh, I can see my own veins!” or "I can see the inside of my own eyes!” moments after shining obnoxiously bright lights into the eyes of our poor unsuspecting patients. However, I’ve never had a patient tell me that they can regularly see veins obstructing their vision. The simulated diabetic retinopathy presentation shows the splotchy vision eventually having veins come into view? Whether or not this has any truth to it I do not know as my encounter with patients does not often include specific descriptions of their vision. Any of you out there know the truth of this??

So what is my favorite part of this app? Well besides that fact that it can give you a sneak peek into the world of some of your dear patients, and hopefully open all our hearts to a bit more compassionate and empathetic… It’s free! I personally have an Android phone so I hopped on to the Google Play Store to download it, but I know it is also available (still for free) to all the Apple users out there. I think the Braille Institute did a good job with this, I just wish more people in ophthalmology knew about it.




Hillary Bernard, CRA has been at the University of Michigan's Kellogg Eye Center for 5 years. She joined OPS in 2011 and is a member of the Professional Development Committee. In her spare time, she can be found out on her bike or racing her sailboat around the Great Lakes.

Tags:  app  blog  education  Interactive  iPhone  Meaningful Use  PDC  research  Social Media  Study  Tips  Vision app 

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OPS Facebook Challenge (April - June)

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 29, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 29, 2013
This update is brimming with congratulations and change! A big congratulations go out to Jennifer Thomson. She is stepping down as the Facebook Editor as she will be spending more of her time as the Marketing Chair for the OPS. Elaine Lok has graciously accepted the new role as Facebook Editor and will make Jen proud! Please welcome Chuck Hamm and Noelle Pensec to the Facebook Team. They have been participating in our Challenges for months and are excited to run a few Challenge of their own! We are excited with all of the growth on the Facebook Team. If you are interested in getting more involved with the OPS, please contact Professional Development Committee (PDC) Chair, Sarah Moyer at

As many of the Challenges work better when we receive images from other photographers to post, we wanted to share our Facebook Challenge Schedule with you so that you could prepare images for the Challenges ahead of time. The list below indicates the Monday of the week the challenge will run (Monday-Friday), the topic of the challenge and the Facebook Team member responsible for hosting that Challenge. If you have an image or comment that you think would be helpful for that
Challenge, please email it to our address:

Apr 1 - What's your favorite thing about San Fran (Rona)
Apr 8 - Artifacts quiz (Chuck)
Apr 15 - FAF photos (Amy)
Apr 22 - Images with the iPhone use in clinical setting (Rona)
Apr 29 - Share your personal photos of San Fran / What did you learn at Mid-Year (Elaine)

May 6 - Favorite Stereo Pair (Noelle)
May 13 - Share your "Eye as Art" images (Elaine)
May 20 - Get to Know the OPS (Sarah)
May 27 - What did you do for Memorial Day weekend? (Chuck)

Jun 3 - Meet your New FB Team
          Monday - Rona
          Tuesday - Elaine
          Wednesday - Amy
          Thursday - Noelle
          Friday - Chuck
Jun 10 - Guess that Visual Acuity (Noelle)
Jun 17 - Hidden Shapes (Amy)
Jun 24 - What's Up with New Orleans? (Sarah)

Your Facebook Team:

Rona Esquejo-Leon

Amy Désirée Goldstein

Chuck Hamm

Elaine Lok, Editor

Sarah Moyer

Noelle Pensec

Jennifer Thomson


PS. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Facebook page,here’s the link:

OR --> Download a free QR app and check us out...



Be sure to "like” us!!

Tags:  blog  cute  Facebook  funny  Ice Breakers  Interactive  Meaningful Use  PDC  Social Media 

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An OPS Application of Ancient Roman History - Or - Great Things Can Happen on the OPS Forum

Posted By Paula Morris, Sunday, February 24, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013

I never thought of myself as a "phobic”. I mean, I didn’t think I was really fearful of things, but instead exercised a healthy amount of caution and common sense when it came to avoiding dark alleys, or wearing spike heels on icy surfaces. And I’m not crazy about spiders, so the first time I photographed a wildly inflamed eye with tarantula spines firmly stuck in the cornea, that aversion seemed reasonable.

But one day I was looking up something on the internet, and a misspelling led me to entries regarding phobias. Holy cow! It would seem that if there is a Greek word for it, there can be a phobia assigned to it. Case in point: neophobia – fear of anything new, also called cainotophobia from the Greek word for kainos meaning "new.” Reading about it made me pause………….

While I don’t think I am afraid to try new things, I am always willing to hang around in my comfort zone. I can be adventurous, but routine is comfortable. So when the OPS launched the new website, even though I was one of the folks who worked on finding a good answer for our Society’s needs, I was flat out intimidated by all the features the website offered! How was I supposed to know how to find things on the site (even though I helped upload some of the content)? This was all new stuff – I was an old dog and this was definitely a new trick!

Wait! Was I exhibiting the textbook symptoms of "neophobia”? Was I afraid to actually take the time to check out the new features? Or had I not looked at the website as an efficient new way of really connecting to OPS members. Hmm.

So, looking for comfort through familiarity, I started checking out the home page, and there in the left side menu, I found the word, "Forums”. Hey! I’d paid attention in History class and I knew of the famous, sometimes infamous, Roman Forum. Suddenly I smiled as the lyrics from the Peter Allen song, "Everything Old is New Again”, leapt into my thoughts.

It looked like the OPS has our own version of a "The Forum”, with many of the same features: a gathering place for people with like interests, and an efficient way to communicate with many people at once; much more far reaching than my personal email list. It’s a tool in the Merriam- Webster application meaning "something (as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession”.

Our website can develop forums for all kinds of OPS groups, and in fact, the OPS Boards and committees have been using this feature in some capacity to conduct official OPS business since the website was launched. The forums are powerful tools, (but can be as fun to use as a toy), as they not only provide an easy venue to contact everyone subscribed to the forum, but all messages are archived and can be referred to at any time by any forum member. And files and documents can be stored for access through the Forum as well. So cool! For someone like me who is never very good at organizing my email, immediately saving and deleting, all these wonderful forum features are a gift.

A few weeks ago, a friend had a question about fluorescein sodium, and we quickly took it to the OPS member forum. In no time, folks were posting helpful information in response – members we were acquainted with, and some members we had never met! What a fabulous resource; and those responses were saved under that topic and are available for review by any member who may have missed the original postings. No doubt, we have the Roman Forum beat there.

If you aren’t an OPS member, you can read postings on the member forum, but you can’t participate by posting to it. But if you are an OPS member, you have full access to the website, including the member forum. All you have to do is log on, and the website is yours. To get to the OPS member forum, look at the left side menu on the home page, and select the 9th item down, "Blogs/Forums/Groups”. Expand the menu to the right, and select the second item down, "Forums”, and then click on the "OPS Member Forum” line. It is so easy – with only one thing to remember: you will get an initial email to let you know there is a new topic on the forum automatically. To continue to get email alerts to keep you up-to-date, you should click on the middle item just above the gray "TOPICS” bar that says, "Subscribe to Instant Updates” – or, you can choose "Subscribe to Digest”. Your choice to fit your style. You’ll need to choose if you want to receive alerts on topics, so if a topic doesn’t interest you, just don’t select one of the "subscribe” items. Sincerely, once I discovered how amazingly easy this is, I have been all over the website now – and this is just one feature of all that the website has to offer.

There are even sticky notes to educate you about the member forum, and guidelines for proper "netiquette” to keep our forum friendly and useful.

So, if you haven’t been on one of the OPS forums, I think you are missing out on a fabulous source and resource. Don’t be neophobic, give it a try. And if you have a quirky sense of humor, why not image that a posting is from someone in a toga!


"See” you on the forum!

Tags:  blog  cute  education  funny  Ice Breakers  Meaningful Use  New Life  PDC  Professional Development Committee  school  Social Media  Study  Tips 

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