Make Your Project Shots Look Great: 3 Essential Photoshop Tricks

via www.core77.com/hack2school/

STEP 1: CROP TIGHTER
There is nothing more boring than a picture of a design in the middle of a gray background. Don't do that. Instead, consider a tighter crop of the object, maybe bleeding it off the edge of the frame.

STEP 2: USE THE SHADOW/HIGHLIGHT FILTER
Many people go up to the "Image" menu in Photoshop and try to optimize using the "Brightness/Contrast" and "Hue/Saturation" tools. But, the most startlingly useful—and underused—filter is the "Shadow/Highlight" filter. Set it at 25 and hit OK. Then do it again and see if it's even better. If not, back it off with undo.

STEP 3: TRIM THE ENDS IN LEVELS
There is an encyclopedia to be written about how to master Levels, but a quick way to get big results is to simply "trim the ends" on the histogram. If you've got flat lines on the left and right, move the two outer arrows in toward the center. The darks will get richer, the lights will get brighter, and it will take you about 2 seconds. Play with the middle arrow if you like, but really, you could save-for-web right about now.