Those old cookbooks pre-1995 had trouble making things look appetising. The film screens and inks just couldn't do food justice. It's unfair to the cooks who made the recipes which were most probably just fine. (I think some decent line drawings would have done the trick and given the recipes some longevity). The photographs themselves were also most probably quite OK, shot on transparency, and probably doing the recipe justice. Often, the photographer wasn't even credited. Contrast that with the veneration of chefs and food photographers in the late nineties and 2000s. Same thing applies to gardening books I suppose. Gardens look much better in RGB. I couldn't get a printed garden photo, so here's a salad to illustrate what I'm thinking.