A few years ago, I decided to attend a judging workshop run by the CACC. The primary intention was to improve my own self-critique, but I was surprised when it concluded to be asked to judge for the CACC in local camera clubs.
It was a great experience and you learn a lot - not just from the initial training but ongoing in visiting clubs and analysing images. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in image critique.
I did some judging for a couple of years - it was a mixed experience, really. On the positive side there were some great images and some really friendly clubs. The negative? One or two people who made it more of a chore. A couple of years back I had to take a break as I was overcommitted, and I haven't gone back to it.
Why? Well, Camera Clubs are changing and I am noticing a trend in that club members increasingly enjoy open discussions on their work and feedback from their peers and from more experienced image workers where the dialog is bi-directional. This is opposed to the unidirectional opinion of an appointed judge. The open discussion approach seems to work a lot better and both the members and the expert get more out of the process.
When you take a step back and ask why people enter competitions, I think it boils down to two reasons. For the top 20% it likely about competing and winning a prize or a cup. For the remaining 80% it's about putting your work in front of someone else and getting feedback on it, but also people get a lot from participating in the discussions around their peers' images.
I believe that members get a lot more out of this than they do listening to a judge. That's one of the reasons why I haven't returned to camera club judging - but I am happy to facilitate or lead discussion sessions around images.
If you'd like to contact me regarding making a booking you can send me a message via this website.