This could have a lot to do with its wider appeal. Wider because church symbolism means a lot to people, and those who appreciate it don't necessarily have the same strong feelings for nature symbolism...I don't even "get it" in my own work, why shots that include religious symbolism are more popular with my chosen audience. I much prefer the nature shots I have taken, they move me directly and personally.
Very likely. The cross is of course a potent Christian symbol but for myself (an apostate) the crosses are simply a reminder of death and I key them against the moon's permanence. And I like the black. Much of Adams's work is nothing to me except brilliant craftsmanship but Moonrise touches a nerve. I have an on-going, rather shallow, tourist's romance with that part of the country and that certainly plays into my response as well. I have a faded bouquet of silk flowers from that cemetery (from a trash pile) in my darkroom. Can't explain that, but, there it is.
I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
- Garry Winogrand