I finally figured out the fish. I solved the flash problems, the black background, reflections… but the fish were still not showing their true beauty. Finally I realized “Ah ha, turn off the lights!” Now, that’s not really an option in camp since the glaring sun can’t be turned off, but in the lab I can control things. Once the lights were off the fish started moving around instead of just sitting on the bottom of the tank.
And they started to give their colors. It’s funny, it’s a lot like a chameleon: they aren’t pretty when they’re stressed. But their colors come out when they are comfortable.