I have a question about the usage of the pattern "identification in" pattern here:

Three Marines depicted in the photograph, Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, and Michael Strank, were killed in action over the next few days. The three surviving flag-raisers were Marines Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and Navy Corpsman John Bradley. The latter three became celebrities after their identifications in the photograph.

The act of identifying the flag-raisers was external to the photo and after the photo was taken. So, is the "in" in the part "identifications in the photograph" wrong? Would "identifications from the photograph", where "from" implies the source of information, be better?

  • The photograph wasn't used to identify them, they became celebrities posthumously after being identified as people in the famous photo. I think the sentence could have been phrased better, but I don't think the meaning is unclear.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 20:06
  • "their identifications in the photograph" sounds strange to me.
    – TimR
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


Identification from X mean instance or action where X was used to determine identity. Whatever is being identified, X proves the identity.

Identification in X means an identity was determined inside or within X. Something outside of X is proving the identity.

It can be confusing because a picture can both determine an identity, and one can also identify things in it. It definitely could have been phrased better.


The last sentence means, "The latter three became celebrities after they were identified as the men in the photograph." So, in is correct.


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