Capturing a Worthington Jet


A Worthington Jet is the splash or bounce that is created when a drop hits a pool of liquid and photographing a Worthing Jet sequence is a case of taking photographs of different drops at slightly different times. In the below pictures, each drop is photographed 10ms later then the previous one.

Set Up

Almost any set up can be used. For the below I had
– the valve nozzle about 40cm from the table top,
– the water in the bottom tray was about 2cm deep,
– I used milk for the drops and plain water for the tray, and
– the drop size was 50ms.

Worthington Jet Set Up
The water in the bottom tray has turned milky due to previous drops.

Since I am using milk which is opaque, I have the flashes directed to where the drop hits the water. When using water which is translucent you would light the background.

Drop Settings

– Single drop
– Loop Mode (auto repeat with a 6 second pause between drops)
– Drop start time = 100 ms
– Drop size = 50 ms
– Flash trigger starts at 410 ms and increments by 10 ms every loop
– Camera triggers at 200 ms
– Camera in manual mode, f16 and shutter is half a second

The camera shutter triggered at 200 ms and I had the camera set for a shutter speed of half a second which is 500 ms. This meant the shutter was open from 200 ms until 700 ms. As long as the flashes fire before 700 ms then the photo will be OK. If the flashes fire after 700 ms the the picture will be black.

Worthington Jet Settings

Worthington Jet Sequence

WorthingtonJet_01 WorthingtonJet_02 WorthingtonJet_03 WorthingtonJet_04 WorthingtonJet_05
WorthingtonJet_06 WorthingtonJet_07 WorthingtonJet_08 WorthingtonJet_09 WorthingtonJet_10
WorthingtonJet_11 WorthingtonJet_12 WorthingtonJet_14 WorthingtonJet_15 WorthingtonJet_17
WorthingtonJet_18 WorthingtonJet_19 WorthingtonJet_21 WorthingtonJet_22 WorthingtonJet_23

Here is a second sequence. This time I used a tea cup filled with milk and a drop size of 30ms. The camera settings are the same but I moved the camera down to be level with the top of the cup.

Worthington Jet Setup


I used slightly different drop settings for this one. The delay between activations was set to 4 seconds, the drop size was 30ms and the flash was set to trigger at 400ms with an increment of 10ms every sequence/loop.

worthingtonJ et Sequence 2