Photographer Růžička: You need to have two faces and one ball on a good sports photo

28.11.2017 | zik

Foto: Pavel Růžička
Do you like photos from Czech Open and other Floorball in Prague tournaments? The author of most of them is Pavel Růžička (, who has been taking pictures for brothers Vaculík for almost ten years. If you do not know him, it's not that surprising as he's almost invisible in the hall; he patiently sits behind the boards to get the best shot. But when there is time, he likes to chat with organizers or joke with other photographers.

It's his idiosyncratic humour that he's become known for. He only waves his hand when asked about the secret of his craft. "It's clear that to photograph sport you need some speed and promptness. But it's not a big deal. I like that old bon mot that says you just need to have two faces and one ball on a good sports photo."

Růžička does not just focus on sports. He has various orders. He likes to photograph weddings (if they have "atmosphere and emotions"). And what's the most annoying job? "For me, the hardest thing is PR photography, where you need to manipulate the reality. For example, you are supposed to take a picture of an empty shop, so that it looks like it's full of people. Or to capture a politician surrounded by fans when there are no fans, and so on."

He started with floorball in 2008 when he met one of the Czech Open directors Tomáš Vaculík. "I sent him some pictures, then I shot the Czech Open 2008 final. That's how it began. It was a bit of a coincidence and a bit of luck because the photographers who took pictures of the tournaments before me knew more about floorball and photography than I did. "

When he hears about floorball, he sometimes rolls his eyes, but it is obvious that this sport has become special to him over the years. And he also has interesting insights. "When I first saw Rasmus Enström, he looked totally unspectacular, such a tiny, quiet boy, but when he got the ball, that was hell of a speed, I had problems to shoot him. "

Růžička regularly appears at all four Floorball in Prague tournaments. Which one does he prefer? "Prague Games, because it is not yet so tactical there, and all players are very passionate about the game. And the most interesting match I've ever shot? That's hard to say, there have been so many, but I remember that one year, in the final, Dalen scored the game-winner one second before the end."

Right now, at least for a few days, Pavel Růžička has swapped floorball for another sport – badminton. He is taking pictures at the European Championship U17 in Prague. How does he like it so far? "The net is always in the way! And I was surprised that it is really fast. Each shot is a like flash."

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