The winner of a contest to find the best amateur photographs of people’s canine companions has been announced.

Brian and Julie Kings’ striking image of their four pet Shelties, taken on a beach in the Outer Hebrides, was unanimously chosen as the top photograph by the judging panel for the competition, which was inspired by the William Wegman: Family Combinations exhibition currently on show at the City Art Centre.

Mr and Mrs Kings, who live in Gloucestershire but are regular visitors to Edinburgh to see their daughter, said they were ‘over the moon’ to have scooped first prize. Their photograph of their beloved dogs, named Hector, Hamish, Mollie and Misty, will now be printed, framed and hung in the City Art Centre until the Wegman exhibition ends later this month.

The Kings have also won dinner for two at The Dogs restaurant on Hanover Street, as well as two tickets to the Wegman and Edward Weston exhibitions at the City Art Centre.

The judges for the competition were Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convenor; Frank Little, Museums and Galleries Manager; and David Ramsden, owner of the Dogs restaurant.

Cllr Brock said the panel had faced a very difficult task thanks to the high calibre of the amateur photographs submitted.

She said: “We were hugely impressed by the standard of the entries we received and it was a pretty tough process deciding on a winner. In the end, we chose the Kings’ photograph because it seemed to echo the ‘family’ theme of the William Wegman exhibition, which contains some wonderful, quirky images of the artist’s family of Weimaraners.”

On hearing the news of their victory, Mrs Kings, who took the winning photograph, said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, it’s just wonderful. We took that photo in Uist, while on holiday. We’re coming up to Edinburgh this weekend to collect the framed print from the City Art Centre; and, of course, we can’t wait to see the William Wegman photographs which inspired this competition.”

William Wegman: Family Combinations runs at the City Art Centre, Market Street, Edinburgh until Sunday 24 October 2010. Our earlier article here tells you more about it.