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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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Wow, what a difference!

Posted By Houston P. Sharpe III, Friday, August 28, 2015
Updated: Friday, August 28, 2015

I have always enjoyed attending OPS meetings and webinars.  During my first OPS meeting I knew almost no one. Each year since, I have met many new people who are interested in or already immersed in ophthalmic photography.  I am always excited to return home and apply these new tips and tricks during our clinic and observe the resulting differences.   Seeing the change in quality, that resulted from implementing the knowledge gained from the OPS continuing education programs, has impressed upon me the fact that we have a responsibility to continue our education in order to improve our skills.

Recently, I had a difficult view during a FA on a traditional fundus camera due to a severe cataract in the transit eye.  After finishing the mid-phase photographs I felt less than thrilled with my performance.  I thought about a trick that I remember hearing during a lecture at an OPS meeting, "If you have a difficult view through a cataract for a FA, use the Heidelberg”.  Wow, what a difference!  That severe cataract was causing very little distortion to the averaged image I was able to quickly obtain.  After showing my fellow photographers and the attending, I told them the trouble that I had and how I circumvented it.  I felt even more joy from passing on the technique to those around me, hoping that one day it will make a difference in someone else’s treatment. 

I hope to see y’all in Las Vegas for this year’s annual meeting where we can all learn from each other!

 Houston P. Sharpe, III, COA, OCT-C (top); Debra Cantrell, COA (bottom).

Tags:  2015  AAO  blog  cute  education  Educational Meeting  Fluorescein Sodium Dye  Ice Breakers  Meaningful Use  research  Special Events  Tips  Travel  Tricks 

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Las Vegas - Off the Beaten Path

Posted By Donald Kuitula, Friday, August 14, 2015

Las Vegas is known for its luxurious casinos, spectacular entertainment and all you can eat buffets. A few days of indulging in the decadence of this town can leave you exhausted. If you need a break from the glitz and glamour and wish to seek out lesser known places to enjoy, this list may be helpful.



With the annual meeting being held at the fabulous Flamingo on The Vegas Strip, we will begin with those places nearby. Next door to the hotel, at The Linq, you will find the Polaroid Fotobar (3545 Las Vegas Blvd South, Suite L-7) where you can instantly turn any image from Facebook, Instagram or your phone into a classic looking Polaroid print. In addition to the store, which stocks all things Polaroid, there is a free museum upstairs featuring permanent and traveling exhibits from world renowned artists. 

The National Atomic Testing Museum (755 E. Flamingo Dr.) is a museum dedicated to the history, development and testing of the nuclear bomb. There are over 12,000 unique artifacts, historical videos and interactive displays including an exhibit which delves deep into the highly secretive Area 51.

KISS: By Monster Mini Golf (4501 Paradise Rd.) is a rockin' 18 hole tribute to the band Kiss. The indoor course features glow-in-the-dark mini golf with a live dj spinning Kiss music along with Kiss trivia, contests and prizes. It is also home to the largest Kiss gift shop in the world as well as the "Hotter Than Hell” Wedding Chapel and the "Rock n' Roll All Night” Cafe. If mini golf wasn't enough to quench your competitive spirit, head on over to The Pinball Hall of Fame (1610 E. Tropicana) which features a collection of over 200 working pinball machines spanning all eras from the 1950's to present day machines. You can play to your hearts content so bring a pocket full of quarters and unleash your inner pinball wizard! It isn't about winning or losing here because as a registered non-profit company, most of the proceeds from the machines go directly to the owners favorite charity The Salvation Army.

A visit to Las Vegas is not complete without a trip to Downtown Vegas. The "original” Vegas features old school casinos (featuring better odds), the unforgettable Fremont Street Experience and a few other out of the way spots to discover. The unique Downtown Container Park (707 Fremont St.) is a sustainable shopping, dining and entertainment area made completely out of used shipping containers stacked upon each other. Shopping includes clothing boutiques and art galleries along with an array of restaurants, bars and dessert places to satisfy your sweet tooth. The Mob Museum (300 Stewart Ave.) resides in a former federal courthouse and contains over 41,000 square-feet of mob history. Exhibits, artifacts and interactive environments tell the story of notorious mobsters such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel alongside those who brought them to justice including J. Edgar Hoover, Elmer Irey and Harry Anslinger. A mile north of downtown brings you to the...

Neon Boneyard (770 N. Las Vegas Blvd) which is home to more than 150 historic neon signs from the golden days of Las Vegas. Guided tours of this outdoor museum bring you up close to fantastic and ornate casino signs, some of which date back to the 1930's. There is also a night tour showcasing some of the beautifully lit restored signs.

The ever expanding city of Las Vegas has much to offer beyond gaming and nightlife. Taking time away from familiar hot spots will allow you to discover some hidden gems and help you to recharge for another night on the town.

Tags:  2015  AAO  blog  education  Educational Meeting  Interactive  Las Vegas  PDC  Special Events  Tips  Travel 

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Me, Myself, and Eye

Posted By Timothy Bennett, Friday, July 24, 2015
Updated: Friday, July 24, 2015


As a life-long photographer, I’ve taken my share of selfies over the years. I’ve even attempted a few with the equipment I use for diagnostic ophthalmic photography. Part 1 of this blog explored the fun side of taking selfies with ophthalmic instruments.This post explores the more serious side of eye selfies. 

Surprisingly, the ability to take eye "selfies” has helped me identify and track pathology in my own eyes. Two years ago I suffered an idiopathic retinal tear with avulsed bridging vessel and persistent vitreous hemorrhage. This was successfully treated with vitrectomy. Like many patients, I developed a cataract after the vitrectomy. I also began to notice some distortion that corresponded to progression of an epiretinal membrane (ERM) in the same eye.

Any time I noticed a change in vision I would repeat an OCT on myself. Over the course of six months I tracked an increase in thickness of about 100 microns. The cataract also progressed and I was scheduled for cataract surgery. Two weeks prior to surgery I noticed a very subtle change in vision and sat down at the OCT like I’d done several times in the past. The OCT detected some cystoid macular edema (CME) from the ERM. Picking up the CME prior to cataract surgery was very beneficial. Preexisting CME can be exacerbated by cataract surgery, so my surgeon began a course of treatment that reduced the edema. My OCT selfies likely helped us avoid more severe or persistent edema by catching it in advance.

Cataract surgery went as planned, but within a few hours of my procedure I began to notice a new visual abnormality: a paracentral gray scotoma. Upon arriving at the clinic the next day for my post-operative check, I immediately did an SLO/OCT selfie and identified an unusual finding that corresponded directly to the scotoma.

SD-OCT demonstrated an area of hyper-reflectivity in the middle retinal layers just temporal to the fovea (green arrows) and the IR reflectance image showed a distinct dark gray lesion. Fortunately, the scotoma began to fade within a few days and so did the lesion. The jury is still out on the exact cause of the lesion but the selfies have enabled us to track improvement of my condition and possibly publish a case report. We believe it may be a case of paracentral acute middle maculopathy (PAMM), a recently described variant of acute macular neuroretinopathy (AMN). It's rare enough, that I was able to present it at the OPS Rare Case Symposium in Ann Arbor.

As you can see, image quality can be quite good with a little practice. So good in fact that I’ve received a bill from my institution for OCT images that I’ve performed on myself! Here is a double selfie video of a Spectralis IR fundus image showing how easy it is to capture my own epiretinal membrane.


There is a belief that taking selfies can be a sign of narcissism rather than simple self-expression. There is also some concern it can be addicting and unhealthy. Maybe this is true and I should stop taking selfies of my own eyes. After all I keep finding abnormalities! But there is a growing trend in telemedicine where patients can take and forward selfies to their doctors to help diagnose or triage the urgency of their condition. 

Ophthalmic Photographers taking diagnostic selfies: obsessive, silly, or beneficial?

Tags:  2015  Ann Arbor  blog  education  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  Interactive  Kellogg Eye Center  Meaningful Use  Mid-year  PDC  Selfies  Tips 

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The Journal of Ophthalmic Photography makes it to Vanautu!

Posted By Alexis Cullen, Friday, July 10, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In my tiny village of Naviso, with no truck road, no electricity, and no cell phone network, I was walking down a dirt footpath when a woman ran out of her hut, saying she had a letter for me.  I thought it was the typical handwritten note passed down over the mountain from another volunteer or a local who I was working on a project with; however, I was shocked when the biannual issue of the Journal of Ophthalmic Photography was placed into my hands, perfectly packaged in its original plastic, no evidence of wear or tear from the trek it had made!     


It was addressed to me, and even though there is no post office on my island, it was passed person to person until it made it to me.  When leaving for the Peace Corps, I had updated my address on the OPS website.  I knew the address I was adding was not viable for mail, but I had totally forgotten about actually receiving correspondence such as the JOP.  I had thought I was just putting it up there so everyone knew I was in the Peace Corps, halfway around the world.  An accidental experiment proved truly valuable!  It worked! Somehow, the postal system in Vanuatu worked, even though the postal service/road technically ends on Ambae, a neighboring island to our West. This spring issue of the JOP went hand to hand until the last hand made it to me.

I tore the plastic (thank you to JOP for packaging the journal so nicely! It wouldn’t have made it in one piece otherwise!) and opened it as four village women crowded around me to look at the pictures of eyeballs.  I tried as best as I could to explain what we were looking at - the inside of the eye - a timely issue as we have one woman who just went blind at the age of 30 secondary to a seizure disorder.  We also have one 22-year-old male who has a traumatic cataract in one eye after a piece of bamboo hit him in the eye when he was helping to build a house.   


Being here in the village, life is hard – our stores are empty as we only have a ship that comes to our island three or four times a year to pick up Copra (a coconut export) and drop off supplies. You learn how to live with what you have at hand and to improvise. But somehow . . . the JOP made it! 

Thank you OPS! 


About the Author: Alexis left the field of ophthalmic photography in late 2013 to fulfill her life long dream of joining the Peace Corps. She is currently serving in the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific with her husband, Steve.  When she is finished with Peace Corps service, she hopes to pursue a career in telemedicine.  Even though she is not currently in the field of ophthalmology, she maintains her CRA and OCT-C credentials. You can read more about her Peace Corps experience at

Tags:  blog  Interactive  Meaningful Use  New Life  PDC  Peace Corps  Travel  Vanuatu 

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Evening Entertainment Establishments

Posted By Donald Kuitula, Friday, June 12, 2015
Updated: Monday, June 15, 2015

Like any good college town, Ann Arbor has a large variety of drinking establishments featuring great drink specials along with lively atmospheres. Those seeking a game of pool, a place to dance or even drink beer from "Das Boot” will find it here. The following is a small list of bars showing the diversity of hangouts in the area:

The Brown Jug is a U of M landmark which opened its doors back in 1936. The bar is named after the jug that is passed to the winner of the Michigan/Minnesota football game each year. Dating back to 1903, the brown jug is the oldest rivalry trophy in college football. The Brown Jug has been recognized as one of the best campus bars in the U.S. and offers an expansive food menu and equally impressive drink menu with lots of daily specials. This is a place where their motto holds true: "good food, good drinks and good friends”. If you like outdoor dining and house made sangria, look no further than Dominick's in the south university area. They are known for their seafood, Italian fare and pizza. In addition to their top selling sangria, a pink slushy drink called Constant Buzz is also a favorite of Dominick's regulars. It's best to arrive before seven as the place fills up quickly each night. 

Ashley's near the heart of campus on South State Street has been rated as one of the top 100 beer bars in the country. They offer over 50 taps with a mix of local favorites as well as beers from around the world. The dining menu at Ashley's has pub bites as well as burgers, wraps, sandwiches and a large selection of specialty fries. When you are in the mood to lay it all out on the dance floor, Necto has been recently voted as the best nightclub in Michigan. "Transport” Thursday offers Ann Arbor's biggest college party as DJ Knowledge brings high energy with Top 40, House, Throwback and Pop. "Frequency” Saturday Night is reserved for Top 40, Dance and House music with DJ Hardy and host MC Yoda. Their extended weekend happy hour goes from 9-11 Thursday through Sunday to help you bust out your best moves.


If your goal is to shoot pool, throw darts and have some PBR and popcorn, check out the 8 Ball Saloon. This seedy dive bar is located in the basement of the famous Blind Pig music venue which has hosted everyone from Jimmy Hendrix to the MC5 to Nirvana. It features a great jukebox, cash only bar with cheap drinks and an utter lack of pretension. When there is a big game on that you simply cannot miss, Scorekeepers is the place to be with many large projection screens to appease the most diehard sports fan. Known as a college bar that caters to the younger crowd, this bar also turns into a dance club after 11 pm. This is a great place for big groups and anyone looking to catch their favorite team in action.

The Rathskeller is located beneath the Heidelberg restaurant. The alpine dining room upstairs serves a variety of traditional German food from marinated Herring and Spaetzle to Schnitzel, Sauerbraten and Knockwurst. Head downstairs to the Rathskeller to enjoy over 14 taps specializing in the many different styles of German beer. If you've ever wanted to drink out of a bierstiefel (glass boot), this is the place! The boots are offered in 1 or 2 liter sizes and you can even purchase one to take home with you. Bill's Beer Garden is a place like no other. It takes over the parking lot of Downtown Home and Garden when the century old retailer closes its doors at 6:30. There is ample outdoor seating along with a large selection of beer and wine. Food can be brought in from the adjacent Mark's Carts food cart courtyard. The courtyard has eight food carts ready to serve Mexican, Indian and Chinese among other types of food. It's a true collaboration of three different businesses coming together to offer a unique outdoor experience.


When the night time is the right time, there is a bar for any mood or occasion. These are just a few of the many places around town to help you unwind after the conference. I encourage you to head out and explore the nightlife in Ann Arbor!

Tags:  2015  Ann Arbor  Beer  blog  cute  education  Educational Meeting  funny  Ice Breakers  Interactive  Kellogg Eye Center  Mid-year  PDC  Special Events  Study  Tips  Travel 

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