Two amateur photographers have turned their weakness into a strength as they have patented what they call the world’s easiest-to-use camera interface.

Oxford couple, Tim and Mariska Helweg-Larsen, have backgrounds in environmentalism and climate change and both love taking pictures. To make photography easier, they have designed the ‘Exposure Donut', or 'expodo' for short. 

The couple said that at first, they were 'confused' by cameras, but now they have found themselves taking it on as a full-time job. 

Mr Helweg-Larsen said: “At the time when our first son was born, we wanted to take better pictures and we put in the time to understand it and ended up finding a very visual way to understand the essence of a camera.

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“You have these dials on a big camera and it turns out when you strip it right back there are actually only three that are really important, and they all relate to the same thing - it is just how a camera turns light into a photo and I didn’t understand that." 

To make taking snaps easier the couple took the three basic elements of photography and represented it visually on a colourful donut chart. 

The donut chart represents aspects of photography such as shutter time and light and allows people to play with the image in an easy way without using 'auto' mode.

Oxford Mail: Exposure Donut in action. Picture: ExpodoExposure Donut in action. Picture: Expodo

Mr Helweg-Larsen said: “They will be doing the same thing professionals do when they use a camera but in a much more intuitive way.”

Michael Freeman is a leading photography author and has sold four million books. He said the idea is 'fundamentally excellent and original' and could not believe that it had not been done before. 

The idea is so innovative the couple have now patented it. In future, they hope it will be baked into cameras from big brands like CANON, FUJIFILM, and SONY – making professional camera controls easy for anyone. 

The couple say when they show 'expodo' to people there is a real ‘a-ha!’ moment. 

It is National Camera Day on Tuesday June 29 and to celebrate the couple will be hosting a free photo walk starting at the Radcliffe Camera at 7:30pm.

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The walk is for anyone who wants to understand their camera better and there will be an explainer of how to use the 'Exposure Donut'.

Ms Helweg-Larsen is excited to show more people their invention. She said: "We love seeing people get that ‘a-ha' moment when they discover the simplicity at the heart of their camera."

The couple have also released an iPhone app version of the 'Exposure Donut' called 'Expodo' which so far has 90,000 downloads.

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