Since it's a snow day--actually an ice day--and I'm unexpectedly off work, I played around with settings on my camera this morning.
I took a series of pictures of five different items in the same lighting, with the same background, but with different settings on the camera: 1) a custom setting I came up with after doing some Internet research; 2) a manual setting determined from the same research, but with some differences; 3) the auto setting.
There is no visible difference between the custom and auto settings.
The manual setting was so overexposed that no image registered.
Somehow, I still ended up with better images. It seems that the greater the contrast is between my white background and the items being photographed, the clearer the image (as seen with the peace jacket and pale brown jacket as opposed to the pastel tree jacket).