I don't have first-hand knowledge, but I know my feelings towards "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico"
Being in the right place at the right time is one of the marks that I believe separates a brilliant nature photographer from an amateur. I'll categorize myself in the latter category. I can get really good shots, but I don't have the opportunity to wait if the right light isn't there when I am.
As you drive the highways of the desert, occasionally you come upon human settlements that strike as photogenic. There will be a clean building where people gather, perhaps a playground with children. This shot could have been made at any of these and there would have been similar composition and emotional power.
Occasionally, driving the highways or walking around, you come upon glancing setting sunlight. When that happens, I pray for anything photogenic to exist within five miles (but finding myself at home most of the time I see no potential).
Now the full moon, of course, Ansel Adams had been putting that in photographs whenever possible. And snow-capped distant peaks as well. Always a good thing to fill in the background.
So in this shot it all comes together at once, yes the crosses glisten - it's what catches the eye, there is interesting cloudwork to boot. My opinion is how much better can a black and white photograph be?
Of course Ansel Adams made many better shots, where the light was more spectacular and his negatives were better quality. Yes, those show how much better one can be. In those cases they are better because he waited hours or days or came back several times until he got it.
In this case we all know he was lucky and the prints show his talent as a printer.
I like "Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, California" too, and almost bought a signed 16x20. Actually the $1,500 was totally out of my means, but I daydreamed about buying it.