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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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Posted By Denice Barsness, Friday, December 19, 2014
Updated: Friday, December 19, 2014

Who knew that $12.00 an hour could bring tears of joy to a future Don Wong award winner?   It could and it did to this young gal, fresh out of high school where she had fallen in love with photography while hiding out with the other lost souls in the school darkroom.  

At 22 with no career prospects, no health insurance and juggling three jobs to support her toner habit, she took a chance on Henry Ford hospital and Mark Croswell (past BOD member) took a chance on her.   She showed her mettle by braving the public transportation system of inner Detroit to get to work when her car broke down ( and you think YOU have a tough time getting to work!  )  Under Mark’s kind mentoring she built up her resume, her portfolio, and her resolve to make a name for herself in ophthalmic photography.   Several years later she landed a position at the Kellogg Eye Center where she worked as a Ophthalmic Imaging Specialist for just over two years and then moved on to the Director of Ophthalmic Ultrasound at the same University.  

While I’m sure it is daunting to walk the in the footsteps of Csaba Martonyi and Richard Hackle, she’s proven that it’s Girls Rule at Kellogg Eye.   She’s racked up several impressive certifications, awards and was even a member of the Board of Certification.    She is also a founding member of the inaugural Professional Development Committee.    In her spare time she finished her bachelor’s degree and went on to her Masters of Public Health at the University of Michigan.   After work you could find her working as a volunteer tutor or training as a disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross.   I first met Alexis in 2011 while watching her run away with the best Scientific Session presentation.  I predicted from the audience that this OPS member would walk away with the award, and I was right!

She loves to travel and is currently serving in the Peace Corps with her husband.  She relocated January of 2014 to a small island called Maewo, part of the island nation of Vanuatu.  Her poise and command of the podium went well beyond her years and her trajectory speaks to her hard work and tenacity.  I predict we haven’t seen the best of Alexis yet.

Check out her website ( )to see some of the amazing projects she is involved with!

Tags:  blog  education  Interactive  New Life  PDC  Peace Corps  Professional Development Committee  Travel 

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Posted By Denice Barsness, Friday, November 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, November 21, 2014

Jim’s been shaking it up all his life.  Maybe it stems from his start in Kodiak, Alaska, and making it through the earthquake of 1965.  A forced relocation to Cape Cod and the Boston area put him in good position for exposure to academia rich Boston Proper and Harvard University.

It was his skill at scouting that really made an impact on the direction his life would go.  As a young cub scout he met his first blind patient while visiting a local nursing home.   The happiness their visit brought to this man made a lasting impression on Jim that would further his journey, post college, into the ophthalmology world. He started out working as a research technician in the David E Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory at Harvard for 5 years in the early 80’s

While some of us were taking on summer jobs at the local Tasty Freeze, Jim was a working at the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology at Mass Eye and Ear.   This put him in the enviable position of working in research with Dr. Sang and the Immunocytochemical Research lab.  Photographing microscopic samples of eye tumors led to a job in private practice in Dr. Sang’s retina/vitreous practice in Massachusetts.  It was there that he really honed his practical skills as a clinical ophthalmic photographer and technician. In 1998 he continued to work with Drs Hirose and Sang in the field of fluorescence and con-focal microscopy research and studies into PHPV and early anti-FGV antibodies utilizing immunofluorescence studies.  This proximity to academia has certainly helped his writing skills- he’s been a first or second author in over 20 publications in peer reviewed journals

With the adage it’s not what you know but who you know, Jim’s exposure to our very own Team Angiographics. (Marty Rothenberg and Mark Bernstein), his skills grew sharper and it was there that he met his current employer, Dr. Pamela Weber . He’s been working for Island Retina in Shirley NY since 1998

Jim earned his BS in Boston in 1984.  He’s been a COA since 2002 and a member of the OPS since 2005.  Jim currently serves as a member of the OPS BOE and previously, he was buried up to his gears in the planning and producing of the 2014 ICOP meeting that was held in Toronto this past May.

He’s been married since 1998 to Laura.    Together they traveled to China to bring home adopted   daughter Grace, Easter Sunday, 2010.   Their home in Holbrook, New York provides them with all of their favorite activities-they love to be in the outdoors, biking, gardening and swimming and fishing in the nearby Long Island Sound.  On any given weekend you’ll find them somewhere out there with their devoted dog Madison.  Jim’s got a need for speed- whether it’s Cape Cod on his motorcycle or peddling away on a road bike for various charities.   Good thing he’s a great cook- he needs those calories to keep up with his active lifestyle.

I asked Jim what keeps him going (other than being a devoted family man) he says the sharing of knowledge and making a difference on earth bring it home for him.  He’s the persona of paying it forward.    Should you pass him on his bike along the Observer Highway, or fishing out on the Long Island Sound, give him a big thumbs up for living a life with purpose and gusto!



Tags:  blog  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  meet your ops member 

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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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A Moment to Reflect

Posted By Paula Morris, Friday, October 10, 2014
Updated: Thursday, October 9, 2014

Personal satisfaction is the most important ingredient in success”
Denis Waitley

I have been composing a course for the OPS annual program, and the process has led me to consider the things about my job that bring me satisfaction. I think it’s a good thing to stop and “check in” with yourself occasionally to consider how things are going, and look for the positives instead of always measuring by the negatives – which I am wont to do more often than not these days.

A common theme amongst ophthalmic imagers is how busy we are each day! There is hardly time to take appropriate bio breaks or keep up with all the data entry, study submission, and paper work that is an integral part of the job. One problem is that there are SO many things affecting work flow that are often out of our control: size of clinics, length of clinics, complicated patients, complicated patients bunched up into single clinics, having to travel to satellites – all things that can add to the stress and pressure of an already demanding job.

So when you have a chance to catch your breath during the day, where can you go, what can you to do relax a bit and enjoy the fruits of your labors? Something that is fun but work related that will be seen in a friendly light by management?

How about sitting back and admiring some of the amazing images you have been taking in the course of patient care! What about that fascinating fluorescein sodium angiogram you did this morning of ampiginous? Or the super cool OCT you did last week of vitreomacular traction? You should talk about them with your physicians (remind them of what a truly talented imager you are), but also share those images with your colleagues! You can think that an image is amazing, but it is always nice to hear someone else say it as well. Discussing images and patients with each other is a great way to expand knowledge about all aspects of serving ophthalmic patients.


To me, the recognition of a job well done is very satisfying. Outstanding imaging is what we do and being able to share those images outside of the database, and perhaps beyond the physician that ordered them, is a great way to gain recognition and feel good about your talents and abilities. And at the meeting in Chicago we will have the opportunity to learn just how to do that!

It has been SO gratifying that the American Society of Retina Specialists sought out the OPS and approached us with a unique collaboration a few years ago– soliciting outstanding images our members produce for submission to the ASRS Image Bank. There has been information about this opportunity on the OPS website, but now that link is active and you as an OPS member have access to their site and can learn more about the Image Bank project. And even easier, a representative of the Image Bank will be in the OPS meeting registration area on Friday to answer your questions about this unique program and how you might participate. One more cool thing to check out during our annual program.

Armed with a laptop and internet access, the Image Bank rep can tell you more about this opportunity and show you how to upload images. Why not stop by if you have a chance and see if this is a project you can participate in!

Check it out! See you in Chicago at the OPS annual program!

Tags:  AAO  American Society of Retina Specialists  blog  Chicago  Educational Meeting  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Special Events  Travel 

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