So, I set out to run an experiment to determine the correct camera settings to get the whitest background and still have true colors to the item. I tested a variety of settings of the white balance and the exposure value. I also tested a setting on the camera called "vivid color". My camera is a Nikon Coolpix L3. Here is a link to see all of the pictures from this part of the experiment: http://magscrafts.googlepages.com/cameratest1
Here is the best picture from this section of the test:
It was taken using a feature on the white balance menu of my camera called "White balance preset".
Then I decided I still had a bit of a grey tint to my background so I set my camera on white balance preset, then took another series of pictures varying the exposure value (EV). Here is a link to all of the pictures in this test: http://magscrafts.googlepages.com/cameratest%40
Here is the best picture:
Still not totally white, but I'll take it for my first day with the new setup, and the pictures are definitely usable.
Now it is time to make some stuff so I can take pictures!