are you referring to people like Hurrell?
idk if he ever shot color. people like him and Herb Ritts shot b/w for most of their work. Ritts shot color as well
you also have to remember people were shooting b/w films for color separations, so you shot 3 sheets one with a R,G, and B filters to combine in printing to make color prints.
i believe this is carbro printing, please tell me if I'm wrong.
this is what Technicolor was I believe, 3 simultaneous rolls of 35mm film being exposed through a beam splitter into R,G,B color channels, and re-combined when projected/edited.
I did just that, when a student at Ryerson Polytechnic University in the 1970s. We produced many, many in-camera separation negatives, initially on Super-XX film, and later on Kodak Separation Negative Film, Type 1, AFAIR. The procedure was to shoot three sheets of film, in camera, through R/G/B filters, and develop them to the desired gamma; no easy feat with Super-XX film!
For dye transfer prints, the negatives were printed onto Kodak Matrix film, developed much like any other B&W film, dyed the appropriate colour, and rolled onto a sheet of dye transfer paper, which was essentially photopaper minus the silver. The result was a glorious, full colour print, which had the then-standard Ektacolor 74 paper beat by a mile. I still have my old DT prints (and sep negs, and matricies, masks, et cetera), and the DT prints look much better, 30 years later, than the conventional Type C prints made via standard neg-pos process.
Later, we made three-colour separation negatives from colour transparancies, which involved making masks from the original transparancies, and these were also printed via the standard DT method.
We also contact printed sep negs onto three sheets of Kodak Fine Grain Positive Film, with each sheet then dye developed in a coupling developer, and the three positives were combined to make a full colour trans. Mine wasn't bad, and it's one of the projects which was never returned to me by the professor teaching my course.
One effect these travails had on me was that I stopped griping about how the colour reproduction with conventional materials, having tried my hand with older, much more difficult and labour intensive methods!