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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 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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Raffle, Raffle! Get your Raffle Ticket Here!!

Posted By Rona Lyn Esquejo-Leon, Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012


When I first entered the field of Ophthalmic Photography, I was a student at Rochester Institute of Technology and interning at West Coast Medical Group, LLC. My manager showed me the program for the OPS Annual Program.  There were many papers in the program covering the different events during the meeting.  I really do not remember it all.  What I do remember is the flyer containing the Johnny Justice Jr. Scholar Ship Award (JJJSA) blurb and a small colorful piece of paper with RAFFLE written on it.  I blew off the RAFFLE and continued to read about the scholarship.  How was I to know the importance of the JJJSA raffle?

Moving forward 3 years to the reception of my first OPS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.  My manager and colleague, Sarah Moyer, won a Canon Powershot digital camera!  We were not there for more than an hour!  I thought to myself, "How in the world did she win a stellar gift…with no effort!”  So I asked her, "Sarah, that’s awesome!  How do I win something?!”  She told me she had purchased a raffle ticket for $10!  That night it seemed as though everyone I knew or whom I first met were winning a raffle prize.  Had I known previously what one raffle ticket could get me I would have bought 3 or 4!

Now, as the Chair of the JJJSA I truly understand the importance of the Raffle ticket and the leg work that goes into getting these wonderful gifts for OPS members to possibly win.  You see, these wonderful gifts are donated by our fellow vendors! This year we have receive raffle prizes (to date) from Bioptigen, Bryson Taylor, Canon, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Chace and Associates, LLC.; Ellex, Haag Streit, Heidelberg Engineering, Merge Healthcare, Optovue, Sonomed Escalon, Topcon Medical Systems and TTI Medical!  The funds collected from the raffle tickets go to supported OPS related activities, such as the JJJSA.  I am truly grateful that the vendors are willing to freely donate theses awesome prizes.  Last year vendors donated two laptops, gift certificates, textbooks and other wonderful prizes!  So far this year vendors have donated iPads, digital cameras,  Apple TV, and an iShuffle  just to name a few! 


So be sure to buy your raffle tickets!  There are a couple of ways to buy your raffle tickets.  First, you may go to, scroll on left of page to Online Store, on the main page go to Raffle Tickets, from there you select the amount of raffle tickets you want to purchase.  Secondly, you may purchase your raffle tickets at the registration desk or at the Welcome Reception on Friday, November 9th.  The other wonderful thing about purchasing your raffle tickets is you do not have to be present to win!  So, if we call your name and you are nowhere to be seen at the meeting, we will mail the raffle prize to you!  Seriously, it cannot get any easier than that!

So what are you waiting for?!  Stop reading my blog and buy your raffle tickets!!! Not only are you supporting the OPS, you might just win something special!


Written and Photos by: Rona Lyn Esquejo-Leon, CRA

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Chicago Attractions

Posted By Alan Frohlichstein, Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012


 (Alan Frohlichstein)

Chicago has a great deal to offer for those of you visiting for the OPS annual meeting and educational program and the AAO. Among the not to be missed sites, are the museums, especially the Art Institute of Chicago, a 10 minute walk down Michigan Avenue from the Intercontinental Hotel. The Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry are also exceptional.  

If time allows, a stroll along Michigan ave. (the Magnificent Mile ) is enjoyable and offers shopping options available in very few cities. A walk along the lake, time to look at the architecture, and a trip through Millennium park are always interesting, and relaxing as a break from the city side of Chicago.  

If you arrive by plane, stop at the Visitor Kiosks at O'Hare or Midway airports located near the baggage claim carrousels, and pick up the latest visitor information material there.  Be sure to check out the Chicago Convention and Visitors web site:

or go to the web site below for current Chicago tourism brochures to help plan your itinerary ahead of your arrival:

 (Alan Frohlichstein)

Chicago is a world class city for dining. Many restaurant guides are available, and the hotel concierge will be more than happy to make recommendations based on the type of food preferred. Pick up a copy of Chicago magazine for an extensive restaurant review listing. For a taste of Chicago, Deep dish pizza is a must, as well as the Chicago Dawg, and Italian Beef. OK, so maybe not the healthiest choices, but it's not like we have it every day... Reservations are usually advisable, especially for the high end range of restaurants.

For the most up to date events in the city, pick up The Reader, or The Red Eye, ( read it, don't catch it ), both free at many stores, hotels, and street corner news racks. The City has great Jazz, Blues, and other music venues to offer. If you are after theater, be sure to check the current offerings. Many shows begin in Chicago before they move to Broadway. The main Chicago theater district is within walking distance of the Intercontinental.

Chicago has an excellent rapid transit system. If you plan to explore beyond the loop area, check the rapid transit system of trains and buses. Transit service is also available from both airports. The Orange line will take you from Midway into the Loop, and the Blue line runs from O'hare airport. Maps and schedules may be found at the link below:

With all the cultural offerings available, make sure you leave time to attend the OPS Educational Program as well.

 (Alan Frohlichstein)


Alan Frohlichstein, BFA, BS, CRA, FOPS Chicago resident

Tags:  blog  cute  education  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  Interactive  Meaningful Use  New Life  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Tips  Travel 

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Personal Photography Night

Posted By Sonya Brooker, Friday, October 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012


(Hawaiian Rainbow by Jaclyn Pisano) 

Hello OPS members!  Last year's Personal Photography Night at the Annual Meeting in Orlando was such a huge success - we have decided to do it again in Chicago.  Many OPS members take pictures by day and enjoy photography during their off time.  Some of us are avid photographers; others snap shots with cell phones when that "Kodak moment" arises.  Don't let those moments of self-doubt interfere with sharing your awesome photographs (I myself am guilty of this).  Actually I think this every year when the call comes for entries for the scientific exhibit, ASCRS, etc.  "My images aren't good enough", "someone else's are better", "if only I had a better camera", "if only I'd remember to carry my camera with me".....these are some of my thoughts, and I know that I am not the only one thinking these things.  The truth is some of my images are good, and yours are too!  Send them to me.  It doesn't matter if you used your professional camera, disposable camera, or cell phone, and yes, I will be looking for some of my images as well.


(Awareness by Tamera Schoenholz, CRA, OCT-C) 

During the Welcome Reception on Friday, November 9th, we will display your personal photographs. This is open to all OPS members, even if you are unable to attend the meeting. We will combine all accepted entries into a slideshow and loop the images during the Welcome Reception. This is a great way to learn about the "other” side of many colleagues you have only known through ophthalmology.  The first 15 submissions received by October 30th will be included.  The submission details are listed below:

-Jpeg images at 96 dpi

-The longest side of your image should be 1000 pixels

-12 images maximum -Images must be received by October 30th

-Include your name and your city/state


Send images to Sonya Brooker, CRA through http:// or to her email address


(Clouds by Cornelia Gottlieb, CRA, OCT-C)

Tags:  blog  cute  education  Educational Meeting  Facebook  funny  Ice Breakers  Interactive  New Life  PDC  Personal Photography Night  Social Media  Travel 

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