The photos in this article are nice, but not convincing as examples of the virtues of "planning" in landscape photography.
In addition to the fact that none of the images is that incredible, the first "unplanned" image seems to be at least as good, if not better then, the last one. If you are going to show a three-day process with lots of "planning", shouldn't the final painstakingly planned image be amazingly better than the first, unplanned, image?
You thought Day 2 was too "cold".Couldn't you have altered the color balance of the Day 2 image in PS and saved a day. That wouldn't be as radical as the HDR blending you actually did for the Day 3 image. If blending images is in-bounds, why not just skip the planning and walk around taking snapshots of different skies, trees, with no planning, and blend them all together in Photoshop?
There are certainly cases where planning and preparation pay off, but these images don't seem to be all that good as examples of it.