I think Russ and Rob have both made it clear that
1. Landscape photographs leave them cold, and
2. Anybody who responds positively to landscape photographs is guilty of Wrong Thinking.
Eric, I'm not sure how you arrived at such a broad generalization on the basis of a specific criticism of a specific pair of photographs, but, to say the least, it's quite a jump.
Landscape photographs don't "leave me cold." I've seen Josh do some color work in landscape that's right up there near what a painter could do. But it would be accurate to say that most
landscape photographs leave me cold, mainly because they're strictly "so what" photographs.
There's very little you can do to a photograph that will result in the kind of emotional interpretation a really good painter can produce. That may seem as if I'm knocking photography, but you have to remember that I'm a photographer, so it would seem at least somewhat unreasonable to assume I'm knocking my own art. The fact is that photography is an art form that's best applied to certain genres, among which we don't find landscape. As the professor I quoted pointed out: in the raw, most landscapes are completely banal and boring. And once you level your camera at them and shoot, their straight photographic images remain banal and boring. If you're Ansel Adams you may be able to remove some of the banality and make the result less boring. But it would be interesting to see a comparison between Ansel's "Monolith," and an interpretation of the same scene by, say, Turner. I think that had Turner painted the same scene, Ansel's photograph would, by now, have been relegated at least to a footnote, if not to the round file.
If you want to see what I consider photography's proper function as an art form, take a look at The Americans.
Since you're a photographer I have no doubt you're familiar with the book. This is a genre where painting can't begin to compete with photography. I could go on, but this isn't the place to argue the point. If you want, we can start another thread for that discussion.
It's not "wrong" thinking, Eric. A better description would be "soft" thinking. And even then you have to be selective.