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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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OPS Facebook Challenges

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 4, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 4, 2013

Please welcome Amy Goldstein to the Facebook Team!  She has been participating in our Challenges for months and after attending the Annual Program in Chicago is excited to get more involved with the OPS.  We’re happy that Amy is joining the Team!

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:

Jan 7 - Tell us what you did over the holidays (Elaine)

Jan 14 -  OPS Facebook Best of 2012 Week (Amy + Elaine)

Jan 21 - Favorite fundus Image (Jen)

Jan 28 - Tell us what you do stay healthy, especially since winter is upon us (Jen)


Feb 4 - Name that Diagnosis (Amy)

Feb 11 -  Personal Photography (Elaine)

Feb 18 - Descriptive Fluorescein Angiograms (Elaine)

Feb 25 - Show us your favorite OCT image (Jen)


Mar 4 -   Share with us the best career advice you've received (Amy)

Mar 11 - Submit your favorite anterior segment photos (Rona)

Mar 18 - Name that Diagnosis (Elaine)

Mar 25 - What can you do to keep your eyes healthy? (Jen)


Your Facebook Team:

Rona Esquejo-Leon

Amy Désirée Goldstein

Elaine Lok

Jennifer Thomso


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  Interactive  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Social Media 

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My First OPS Meeting

Posted By Amy Goldstein, Friday, December 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, December 14, 2012

Where do I start? The 2012 OPS Annual Program was my first ever OPS meeting. I did so much, learned so much, met so many wonderful people and had so many educational & networking opportunities, that it’s hard to narrow exactly what to talk about. So I have to start at the beginning.


(Sarah Moyer, CRA, OCT-C)

I attended RIT and graduated in 2005 with degrees in both Advertising Photography and Biomedical Photography. I worked as a professional portrait photographer on the east coast for six years. Last year in 2011, things changed. My boyfriend was offered a job to work as a contractor at Apple. Yes, that Apple. So we jumped at the opportunity and moved to Silicon Valley in California. I struggled to find work with a high end portrait studio and struggled even harder to start up my own business in a new city, 3000+ miles away from my old clients. Thankfully, I found a job posting as a receptionist for a group of Retina Specialists. I was hired and within a month my role of receptionist had already started to shift to that of Ophthalmic Photographer.

From my time at RIT, I felt that everything I learned was in preparation for my CRA. With that certification, comes not just a pretty piece of paper and bragging rights, but the proof that I am a competent and accomplished ophthalmic photographer. So I joined the OPS and got myself back on track. But there is only so much a person can do with a book in front of them.

When I got the paperwork in the mail for the Annual Program, I knew I had to go. Flipping through those pages and looking at the tremendous variety and substance of courses offered, I knew that I had to attend. But in 7 years, I had already fallen so far behind my fellow RIT grads. To put it into perspective, two of my fellow classmates were teaching at this meeting. And here I was just starting out. Silicon Valley is a very expensive place to live and RIT is a very expensive school to go to. So I couldn’t afford to fly across the country, stay in a ritzy hotel, plus pay for the classes that I wanted to attend. My only option was to apply for the Johnny Justice, Jr. Scholarship Award. You could not believe my joy and amazement when I got the call that I had won! It was a little nerve wracking and I have to admit that I had tremendous amounts of butterflies in my stomach and a serious case of stage fright when I stood up in front of all of the attendants at the awards presentation Friday evening. But I would do it again and again for the educational opportunity that winning the scholarship afforded me. Thanks again to the committee for choosing me! I am that much closer to getting both my CRA and OCT-C certifications.


(Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)

I had an ambitious course load that I wanted to take at this year’s meeting and I think in the end I attended over 25 credits worth of educational classes and workshops. From the basics of OCT and FA to advanced interpretation, fundus autofluorescence, retinal surgical videos, anterior segment OCT’s and FA’s, diagnostic B-scans, wide angle imaging and learning about different disease processes like diabetes and myopic degeneration. It was an amazing educational opportunity that I can never replace. I never learned about OCT scans in school, since it was just an emerging technology, so I decided to concentrate on that and took as many courses involving OCT imaging as possible. I attended classes and workshops on SD OCT, descriptive interpretation of OCT, anterior segment OCT, 3D OCT, all the way to Master OCT.

(Amy Goldstein, BFA, BS)


I tried to fit in as much as I could into the 5 days that I was in Chicago. I went to the "Friends of the OPS” lunch with another newcomer and met with Paula Morris and Kirsten Locke, the then current President and the soon to be future Vice President of the OPS respectively. I got to chat with these lovely ladies about myself, them, the OPS organization, work, being an ophthalmic photographer, certification, life, you name it. What a great way for a newbie like myself to get to know all about the OPS while getting some seriously good advice for my future as an ophthalmic imager.  

One of those fellow RIT grads that I mentioned earlier, Sarah Moyer, invited me to attend a meeting for the Professional Development Committee. The PDC is a great way to get your toes wet in the OPS. Speaking of getting your toes wet, we ran down the rainy streets of Chicago to the nearby Marriott Hotel and had a great chat. I found out all about the PDC and what they do. Starting in January, if you check out our Facebook page, you just might see me helping to organize some of the great activities that we have going on there! In addition to running the OPS Facebook page, the PDC is responsible for the OPS blog (that you are reading right now!) During the Annual Program, they organized activities like the Personal Photo Night and the Photo Scavenger Hunt. They also help out with special projects that other OPS Committees need more help with.

(Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)  

Beside the tremendous education that I received from attending these classes, the highlight of my trip was the amazing speeches on new and emerging technologies given during the Scientific Paper Sessions, not to mention the Donald M. Gass lecture on Azoor, given by Dr. Heckenlively. It is truly astounding to think about how far ophthalmic imaging has come and where it might be going in the future.

The 2012 OPS Annual Program was an amazing educational opportunity for me. The friendliness of everyone I met was encouraging, not to mention the level of knowledge from all of the teachers and presenters was outstanding. Again, thanks to the JJJSA committee for making it possible for people like me to attend. Next year’s mid-year meeting is being held in San Francisco, which is only an hour away from where I live. You better believe you will see me in attendance, getting my knowledge on!


Amy Désirée Goldstein, BFA, BS, has been working at Northern California Retina Vitreous Associates in Mountain View, CA as an ophthalmic photographer for over a year. When she isn't photographing eye balls, she enjoys hiking, yoga, meditation, kung fu and crocheting.

Tags:  AAO  blog  Chicago  education  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  JJJ Award  Johnny Justice Jr. Scholarship  Meaningful Use  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Travel 

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Posted By Paula Morris, Thursday, November 29, 2012

I have always been fascinated with the concept of memory – how it works, what triggers memories, who has excellent retention, and why.  In school I seemed to do just fine with remembering words, spellings, dates as a symbol of important events – but when it came to algebraic equations or chemical formulas, not so much. Really! Not much at all!

It is amazing to me how smells and music can so easily evoke memories – the scent of Cinnabon© makes me think of Saturday mornings in the kitchen with Grandma Foster, and just five notes of "Light My Fire”, and I am back in the auditorium of Olympus Jr. High School, with the other 9th grade girls, screaming over Jim Morrison and the Doors.

But I was really surprised and bemused in Chicago at the OPS Annual meeting when, walking through the meeting hotel, I was suddenly drawn to thinking of events from high school.  What the heck?  I graduated in 19… um, sometime during the Nixon administration, and it had been some time since my mind had wandered back down that lane to the past.  

I didn’t arrive in Chicago until Friday evening, so my first introduction to the Intercontinental Chicago Hotel was after the first day of courses and the awards ceremony had ended. I entered the front door and immediately tried to find my way up to the Camelot Room for the reception, not even bothering to take the time to check in.  There was nothing predictable about the layout of the various meeting room floors, and as I wandered hesitantly, making my way up to the event, I noticed the "heavy” wall décor which seemed almost Gothic in nature.  My colleague, Paul Bernstein, had mentioned being in the hotel before, saying it was "very different”, as it was first built as something other than a hotel.  He couldn’t remember what it had been - a bank, maybe?  But the Moorish archways and ornate painted walls didn’t seem like any bank I had ever been in, or any US hotel for that matter.

The next morning, after racing around to meetings and lectures, I finally took a break on the 5th floor close to OPS meeting registration, and stumbled upon a wall covered with pictures of the historic Medinah Men’s Athletic Club.  This was my "Aha” moment!  Suddenly I was transported back to when I was a member of Job’s Daughters Bethel 13, at the Salt Lake Masonic Temple!  It all clicked!  No wonder it felt so familiar – the décor was similar to the Gothic and Middle Eastern styles found in Masonic temple rooms that are symbolic of the various types of free masonry: Gothic and Colonial for the Scottish Rite and York Rite lodges, and North African for the Shriners!  And there the history of the building was in black and white –photos of the men’s club features including a picture of the Potentates of the Medinah Shrine Lodge of Chicago, circa 1929!  So cool!  What a charming bit of history it was that really made the unusual layout and design come to life and make sense.  (For those of you not steeped in Masonic lore, Job’s Daughters is an organization of young women who are related to Master Masons.  (Thanks, Grandpa Bruner).

After that it was a fun diversion to check out the various levels of the hotel; to revel in the décor of the Empire Room and realize it was originally a mini golf course, or the elegant Renaissance Ballroom which was previously a banquet room and one of the few areas where women were allowed in that "sacred” space, a men’s athletic club.  Reportedly, there was even a firing range in addition to the rooms that could be rented out to "gentlemen” who needed lodging.  The building was a classic icon of the era when men’s clubs were popular among wealthy, upper class gents.  Let the bankers have their men’s clubs, the freemasons had their own!


One evening, Barb McCalley and I wandered around, checking out surprising little nooks, including small staircases that led to unexpected tiny rooms only big enough to seat groups of 6 or 8. Finally we made our way to the elegant swimming pool that looks like something out of a 1930’s Florida resort, complete with bright ceramic tiles and terraces filled with wicker furniture.  Truly, the pool area could have been a set for the film, "Some Like it Hot”!

When the hotel was remodeled, special effort was made to try to recapture the feel and reproduce the original décor based on a club year book from 1930 called the Scimitar.  Some may have noticed that the cards provided by the hotel‘s turndown service with weather forecasts for the next day were photos of areas of the original Medinah Men’s Athletic club.


We never know what hotel the OPS will be assigned to by the AAO for our annual meeting and the Intercontinental was not our initial assignment.   But Bob Cavicchi, Dennis Thayer, and Barb McCalley did their best to run our complicated educational program as efficiently as possible in the space we were given.  That made for not the most convenient layout for this year’s program, but I believe that those of us who were there can agree that the Intercontinental Chicago Hotel provided a very unique setting -   one that supplied fond new memories for me as I bounced back and forth between memories of the late 60’s and today.

Part of the delight of attending our annual meetings is getting to see new places in big cities.  The International Chicago Hotel is now on my list of interesting sites, making the OPS 2012 Annual meeting all the more memorable.

Tags:  blog  cute  education  Educational Meeting  funny  Ice Breakers  New Life  PDC  Travel 

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The OPS Historical Archives

Posted By Denice Barsness, Friday, November 16, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012

What is an archive?  An archive is a collection of historical records, or the physical place they are located.  They generally contain primary source (or original) documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual’s or organization’s lifetime, and are kept to show the function and evolution of an organization.  

The use of keeping official documents is very old. Archeologists have discovered archives of hundreds (and sometime thousands) of clay tablets going back to the third and second millennia BC.  Modern archival thinking has many roots in the French Revolution. The French National Archives, who possess perhaps the largest archival collection in the world, with records going as far back as A.D. 625, were created in 1790 during the French Revolution from various government, religious, and private archives seized by the revolutionaries.  

Archives in colleges, universities, and other educational facilities are typically housed within a library, and duties may be carried out by an archivist. Professors may also run a smaller archive. Academic archives exist to preserve and celebrate the history of their school and academic community.  An academic archive may contain items such as the administrative records of the institution, papers or images.  

Non-profit archives include those in historical societies, not-for-profit businesses such as hospitals, and the repositories within foundations. Non-profit archives are typically set up with private funds from donors to preserve the papers and history of specific persons or places.  

In general, archives consist of records that have been selected for permanent or long-term preservation on grounds of their enduring cultural, historical, or evidentiary value. Archival records are normally unpublished and almost always unique, unlike books or magazines for which many identical copies exist.  

The original OPS Historical Archives were the vision and passion of one of our founding fathers, Don Wong ( deceased 1999)  In 1987 the passing of this torch was entrusted to me.  The OPS collection is in its 25th Year of existence and represents a broad spectrum of documents:  historical photos, original programs, society minutes and copies of all newsletters.   The OPS archives is dynamic, with regular additions to its contents.   There are over 3,000 cataloged images in the collection.

There is an ongoing effort to collect PDF copies of manuals for all imaging devices including fundus, SLO, ultrasound and topography devices.  Digital copies of all Journals, Newsletters and Educational programs have been collected and cataloged.  Important OPS documents such as board minutes, presidential papers and committee reports are also included.

Donations to the collection are evaluated for content and relevancy by the OPS Historical Archives Committee     ( members:  Ken Timby, Alan Frohlichstein, Paula Morris, Cindy Montague ) Donations might be prints, slides or paper documents which add to the overall depth of the story of the OPS.  

At the present time a great deal of the OPS Historical archives is a closed collection. Copies of the manuals and some minutes are accessible on this OPS website.  Access to these images and documents must be made through the committee.   The OPS BOD is actively reviewing the archives and making plans to integrate more of the collection into an accessible format on the website.  

OPS members interested in participating on this committee are encouraged to contact Denice Barsness, OPS Historian at  

Donations of digital images, paper prints or slides of official OPS events, social gatherings and educational programs are always welcomes.    Donations should be clearly marked as to "return” or "not return”.  Once the items are digitized and cataloged they will be returned to the sender if requested.  There are budgetary funds available for this project- please contact Denice if reimbursement for postage is required.

AAO San Francisco 1979: John Johnson, Csaba Martonyi, Jean Martonyi, Don Wong; receiving award.

Denice Barsness (Bartlett then) September 1985, San Francisco Annual Meeting, with Frank Lazenby, OPS Photographer for many years…..

Mark Maio, Sheila Smith Brewer, OPS Mid Year Meeting, Rochester NY 1985

OPS Mid Year Meeting, Park City 1985.  Bruce Morris, Ken Christopherson (check out those shorts!) and Paul Montague.

Ditte Hess, Annual Meeting 1979, San Francisco
OPS Annual Meeting, Dallas 1992.  Joe Warnicki, Paula Morris, Pat Saine

Tags:  blog  cute  Educational Meeting  funny  Ice Breakers  New Life  PDC 

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Be sure to check out the many FREE (with registration) Special Events at the OPS Annual Program in Chicago!

Posted By Sarah Moyer, Thursday, November 8, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday, November 9th

Scientific Paper Session - 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Renaissance Ballroom - This is our highly respected paper session featuring current research and innovations by ophthalmic professionals. The prestigious Don Wong Award will be given to the outstanding paper of the session. It’s a wonderful educational opportunity! A published collection of the abstracts will be available at the session. Continuing education credits will be awarded to those attending this session. General registration is required to attend this session.

Awards Presentation - 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm - Renaissance Ballroom - Immediately following the Scientific Paper Session the awards for Best Journal Article of 2011, the Scientific Exhibit’s Csaba Martonyi Best of Show and Best of Division and the Johnny Justice Jr., Scholarship will be presented. The newly elected Fellows and new CRAs and OCT-Cs will also be announced. Please join us as we honor our Award winners! (Included as part of the general registration fee.)

Welcome Reception - 6:45 pm - 9:30 pm - Camelot Ballroom - It’s the perfect way to kick off all of your important evening social events while in Chicago - It’s the OPS Social Event of the Year! On Friday evening, the Welcome Reception will immediately follow the awards presentations. Your registration for the educational program will be your ticket to this special soiree, filled with fun, friends, food, and all good things OPS. You can even bring a friend by purchasing a guest-ticket with your registration. Come partake of good Chicago fare, bask in the incredible award winning images from our 2012 Scientific Exhibit, and share in congratulating the Csaba Martonyi, and Best Journal Article winners, as well as our newly elected Fellows and newly minted CRAs and OCT-Cs that will be announced just prior to the start of the reception during the Awards Presentations. You may also enjoy viewing the personal photos of some of our OPS members. Don’t forget the raffle to support the OPS Endowment Fund which funds the Johnny Justice Jr. Scholarship. Please join us for this festive start to a great educational program!


Saturday, November 10th

Get to Know YOUR Society-12:30pm – 1:30pm – Toledo

Do you enjoy attending OPS Educational Programs?  Have you thought about getting more involved?  Come rub elbows with OPS Board Members in a casual roundtable atmosphere.  Learn about opportunities to help out with OPS projects.

The Eighth Annual J. Donald M. Gass Memorial Lecture – 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm – Renaissance Ballroom

The J. Donald M. Gass Lecture honors the memory of the man who pioneered the use of fluorescein angiography to expand our understanding of a wide variety of retinal disease processes. This year’s lecture will be presented by John R. Heckenlively, MD. Dr. Heckenlively is the Paul R. Lichter Professor of Ophthalmic Genetics and a Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. He also directs the University of Michigan Center for Retinal and Macular Degenerations.  Dr. Heckenlively specializes in the diagnosis and management of vitreoretinal diseases and conditions, and conducts extensive research in hereditary retinal disorders, autoimmune retinopathies, ophthalmic genetics, and electrodiagnostics. He has published widely in the scientific literature and was the founding editor for the Documenta Ophthalmologica ISCEV, an electrophysiology journal. You won’t want to miss this important lecture which is included in the general registration fee.


Sunday, November 11th

"Why Certify?” - 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm - Empire Ballroom - Conducted by the Board of Certification.  You may know why, but do you know how? Members of the Board of Certification will be present to answer your questions about the CRA™ and OCT-C programs. You will have the opportunity to learn what makes a portfolio submission acceptable, hear about the examination experience and learn the advantages of becoming certified. This is a come and go as you wish session, so stop by, meet your Board of Certification, and get the right answers to your certification questions. Earn your imaging credentials from the Eye Imaging Experts! Please join us and learn more!

OPS Membership Meeting - 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm - Exchange - This is the annual meeting of the OPS membership, where the projects and progress of the Society are reported and discussed. This meeting will not only cover OPS business, but emphasize member participation in the Society. Help decide how the OPS can best serve our profession by supporting the Society with your presence and your participation. Contact President Paula Morris, CRA, FOPS, c/o OPS Membership Office, (800) 403-1677, for information about adding items to the meeting agenda.

Tags:  AAO  blog  Chicago  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  Interactive  Meaningful Use  Special Events  Travel 

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