Why are these photos special, though? Couldn't any photograph from 1986 show us the same things? Of course. But there are two things that distinguish Waplington's photographs. In the first place, he's shot the event in what I would call a very open style, in the sense that he has allowed, or maybe even willed, his camera to pick up these incidental details. I doubt that any newspaper photographer would shoot a random shirtless guy with a camera, or step back to frame up an image of the burning car with the Goodyear blimp, but these images can tell us something. So we have photos that are already in some sense primed to become historical, and then there's the fact that Waplington has allowed them to sit for so long before releasing them. How many photographers today would sit on a roll of film like this? It strikes me as an almost radically brave act. We are forced to look at the photographs out of context, with fresh eyes, and the large-scale format of the book (11.5" x 15.75″) only heightens this effect of displacement—it makes the details all the more visible. This feeling of distance might show that the photographs have built up some of Dorley-Brown's "value as a historical document."