Photoplasty relates to a family of medical terms that refer to surgically modifying or “molding” the body, such as rhinoplasty and angioplasty. The meaning of the word photoplasty is reasonably self-explanatory and is not perjorative. — John Hansen-Flaschen, “An Etymological Proposal,” The Online Photographer, Dec 12, 2007

The above quote appears to be where the term “photoplasty” came from. But I got wind of it via Cracked, one of my favorite websites. They’re constantly having contests to see who can come up with the most hilarious Photoshop mashups on various topics. I’ve never actually entered one of their contests, but I love skimming through the entries…and I’ve developed a serious addiction to creating Photoshop mayhem. Creating those hilarious graphics that appear on John Oliver’s shows would be one of my dream jobs.

In any case, when you’re writing for a blog that doesn’t have a photo budget, sometimes you get stuck and Photoshop’s the only answer. Especially when you’re tired of the same old Creative Commons and Public Domain images and there’s no video available to get screen shots from.

Photoplasty samples by Elisabeth Parker.

While Adobe Photoshop is my tool of choice, I’ve seen people do some amazing stuff with free stuff like Gimp, Pixlr and the image software that comes on a Mac.