The photojournalist Lewis Whyld, 35, was sent to cover a party near St Paul's Cathedral on 6 August 2011.
“Midway through, the office called and told me to get to Tottenham. There was trouble and a police car had been set on fire,” the Press Association photographer recalls.
The unrest was in response to the fatal shooting of local man Mark Duggan by police two days earlier.
The pictures he shot made front pages internationally for days, and are now the subject of a comprehensive retrospective at London's Strand Gallery.
As well as images – such as the carpet store on fire – the exhibition features previously unseen pictures of the troubles from Whyld's archive.
“There needs to be a reason why you put yourself at risk to take pictures like these,” he says. “I believe that these images document things that people really need to see.”
The London Riots, Strand Gallery, London WC2 (thestrandgallery.wordpress.com) 3-9 February