YouTube Videos With Smartphones Revised:

I saw a video from a friend's YouTube channel today and it was very sad to see it. His computer equipment is failing that he uses to make videos and it's not in his budget to make videos. So I thought I would take the time to do a revised edition of my "Making Videos with Smart Phones" blog post. First the reasoning behind it is because I want to help my friend and secondly, I had a piece of equipment fail on me. It's extremely easy to upload a video in 1080p Full HD without the need of video software and no computer is needed to do so. First you do need a camera app and for those of you with Samsung Galaxy phones, I highly recommend the open camera app seen below. The factory camera app will work but the open camera app is much better and much easier to use than the factory camera app is. I have no clue about the other phones that's available on the market today but there's a 95% chance that it will definitely work on them as well. This app is free and has no ads. Here's the link to this specific app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.sourceforge.opencamera&hl=en :


Now for those whom wish to edit their videos and add photos and such, you are not going to beat Cyberlink by PowerDirctor. There is 1 catch though and that is the limit of HD is only 720p without the subscription but on some phones you will not be able to tell the difference and yes the app itself is free but it also does contains ads to but you can easily skip them. Here's the link to this awesome video editing app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cyberlink.powerdirector.DRA140225_01&hl=en :


^ Both apps can share directly to YouTube with no issues. All you need is an internet connection and you are good to go. For Android based phones this is past being easy. All you do after you record your video is hit the share button seen below:


Next you will see the screen below:


You then simply select the YouTube icon and then type in the name and information/description of your video and follow the on screen instructions and your video is uploading. It takes about an hour or less depending on how long the video is. I usually try to keep my videos around 20 minutes or less and I set the video duration to a maximum of 1 hour recording time. Another thing I highly recommend getting is a Micro SD card which can be seen below:


^ This is not needed unless you plan on making long videos but if you keep your videos to around 20 minutes or less, you don't need it. But it does help if you have long videos. You can find these at Walmart for a reasonable price. For audio I use a simple plug and play lapel microphone that you can find on Amazon for around $10 to $12 dollars and it does make a difference:


^ That's all I use besides a basic magnetic suction cup mount to make YouTube videos and the mount was only $20 dollars which can be found in Walmart as well.






Shave Photos & Videos Only:

I figured this was coming sooner rather than later, and the moment I knew this was going to happen was when I started making shave videos on YouTube. So technically speaking this is the last blog post that I will be writing. But don't worry, I am NOT quitting the wet shaving hobby at all. From now on after this specific blog post is published and shared, it will be either a YouTube video or a photograph with a brief statement about what I am posting. I will explain why. Below is a photo of some previous posts and how many people read the post. I was averaging around 150+ views per post. Sadly, that is no longer the case:


Here's how many views I'm averaging now. 70 views or less in a span of days:


^ To go from averaging 150+ views per post all the way down to maybe half of that or less when the post has been up for several days, tells me that people have quit reading my blog posts. So in terms of people not having enough time to read it isn't an issue at all. But to be honest about it, I'm NOT upset at all because I'm currently pressed for time and have not been able to do blog posts except on the weekends. What sold me on this decision was the fact that earlier today, I had already uploaded and shared several photos across every social media platform that I use in a span of 15 to 20 minutes and with my ability to transfer and/or copy videos directly to a memory card, I can upload a shave video directly to social media platforms without YouTube. But don't worry ladies and gentlemen, I will keep uploading YouTube videos. So let me take a moment to say thank you to all of those that took the time to read my blog posts. It meant a lot to me.

Resoltuion & The Leaf:

Sorry folks, but there won't be a shave video today due to technical difficulties which is extremely annoying to say the least. For today's shave, I needed a Soap Commander fix really bad so I grabbed their resolution scented soap which was a limited edition from last year. The scent is fresh Frasier fir pine scent with a hint of cranberry sweetness that's rounded off with a touch of bitterness from fresh Mistletoe. It's a fresh and clean type of scent. And to finish off this shave, I went with a nice healthy dose of good old Skin Bracer :


The Gillette Wilkinson Sword blade was great but I clearly had the blade in the wrong slots which is why I have a slight touch of razor burn after 2.5 passes. So from now on, I will be using the middle and top slots only with the leaf razor. But other than that, these blades are great and extremely comfortable. Now onto the technical difficulties. For some reason, the open camera app would not record videos over 6 minutes in length. So I got rid of a few apps that I was not using and set the maximum video recording time to 1 hour. I really should shorten it down even further to (30 minutes or less) because it does not take me that long to shave. Before when I was making straight razor honing videos, I had the maximum file set to unlimited and just never got around to resetting it. As you can see below, I got it fixed and performed a test and recorded some footage while I watched a shave video to see if that fixed everything and it did:


^ Having the camera stop recording on you while you are trying to film a shave video is annoying to no end. This was taken after 16 minutes of recording time. I wanted to toss the phone out the dang window but since I'm paying on it still, I better not. When it comes time to upgrade, I am seriously looking at Apple's I Phones with more internal storage. By the way please avoid the Samsung tablets. They suck and don't half work 90% of the time. Even after installing the factory updates and restarting both tablets, we still had issues with them and the apps still wouldn't work. So come November 29th, 2019, those tablets will be removed from my Verizon account.

Gillette Wilkinson Sword On Deck:

This is one blade that I have been wanting to try for a really long time and just never got around to it until now. As far as I can remember, I have never used these blades before in any razor. I even went back and searched my blog to make sure and saw no shave of the day posts with these blades. I have 2 friends that swear by these blades and they are Ken Kirkup (a.k.a. Kensurfs) and my buddy, Anthony Esposito. Anthony is normally a straight razor guy but he does use DE safety razors when he is in a hurry and he will grab these blades before anything else. Ken uses these on a regular basis but does try other blades:


They come from India but they do have the P&G logo on the back and mention that these are a trademark of Gillette U.S.A. They also come single wrapped:


Another thing I noticed is that these blades are extremely thin. They were also much easier to snap in half for the Leaf razor as well which is a very good thing:


I am looking forward to trying these blades mainly because I have never tried them before in anything. I'm certain that this will also be the last Gillette blade that I have not tried before as well. The Gillette Platinum Plus in the DE 89 was one of my favorites with nearly identical results from the Polsilver Iridium blades coming in an extremely close second. So those will definitely be interesting. So will the Gillette Platinum, Astra Greens which I got great results with in other razors. I also plan trying the blades that came with it which will be next after these.

Coffee Pumpkin Latte & The Leaf:

Since tonight's shave was live on Instagram, I went ahead photographed my shave of the day for a blog post. So we are going a little old school tonight. The shave was fun and good but the blade wasn't quite up to snuff. More on that in a little bit. For tonight's shave, I went with Van Yulay made by Monica Gillam and her fabulous coffee pumpkin latte scented soap. The preshave oil done a phenomenal job at prepping my 5 day old beard which was itching like crazy and it's a good thing that it rinses cleanly because I used a little extra tonight. The scent on this soap is like you just poured your favorite brand of black coffee over a piece of fresh pumpkin pie that just just came out of the oven. This scent is one of those that makes you wish that soap is edible. And to finish off tonight's shave, I went with the matching aftershave which is aloe vera and witch hazel based:  


The blade in the Leaf razor wasn't too good. It kept grabbing in certain spots and caused a few weepers and I ended up using my Clubman Styptic pencil like an alum block yet again as a result. Normally the 3rd shave on a Feather blade is great and goes bye bye on the next shave but not in this case. It was still sharp enough to cut, but it wasn't slicing through cleanly. That's been my past experience with Feather blades in standard DE safety razors. I also have a slight touch of razor burn which will clear up before my next shave. In my last blog post, I also made a note of how much longevity I use to have with Feather blades when I started versus how many I get today 4 years later. That was a huge drop compared to the number of shaves I use to get.

Feather + Leaf = 3 Shaves Max:

The live was great. If you follow Strike Gold Shave on Instagram, you can watch the replay of our shaves. Mine went okay but you can definitely tell that it was time to switch out the blade. So that puts my shave total to 3 multi pass shaves on a Feather DE blade in the Leaf razor. That tells you how tough my beard has gotten over the past 4 years. When I first started in February of 2013, I could get 10 multi pass shaves out of a Feather blade with a mild twist to open razor. Now I'm down to 3 in a mild razor. That is a huge drop in longevity:


The 3rd shave on a Feather blade is usually the most comfortable shave in ANY mild or medium DE safety razor, in this one is fell short in the comfort part of that equation and the blade kept wanting to grab in a few spots. That usually means that it's time for another blade. I've been hearing a lot about these Gillette Wilkinson Sword blades so I will be trying them next:


So this means that the blade search continues. There's not too many more blades left that I've not tried in other razors and only a handful that I have not tried period and this Gillette Wilkinson Sword is one that I have never tried before ever so it will definitely be interesting.

Van Yulay Preshave Oil:

This preshave oil by Van Yulay is phenomenal and I've been using it in every shave video since it has arrived. In the past, I've had issues with preshave oils. I have no issues with this one at all. The first thing I noticed was that it does NOT feel overly greasy at all and feels very light on the skin. Which is a very good thing and the scent is a light semi sweet classic cologne type of scent which does not clash with the scent of your shave soap. In terms of lather, this stuff takes your shave soap to another level and basically turns it into a lather volcano and then some, wow. The glide is off the page and this product really softens the skin and basically eliminates any and all razor burn. So for those of you who want that extra pass, this product is a must have. Another sweet thing about this preshave oil is that it does NOT clog your razor. That was one of the major issues that I had in the past with preshave oils which was clogging and really gumming up a razor. This preshave oil does NOT do that. The last thing I really loved about this product is that it rinses cleanly from your razor and shave brush, so there's no worries about this oil staying in your brush and going rancid:


All in all, this product is exceptional and will continue to be part of my preshave routine. I was going to talk about it tonight on Instagram during a live shave with Frank Misa from Strike Gold Shave. Unfortunately, Frank didn't get home till late and was too exhausted to do a shave tonight. So tomorrow around 6:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time, we will be doing a live shave on Instagram. Monica is really proud of this preshave oil and she most definitely should be because it's phenomenal and is really the only preshave oil I will use in my shaves. Happy Halloween my friends.

Making Videos With Smartphones:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I thought I would take the time to put together a blog post on what I use to make my shaving videos on YouTube and how I use my smart phone to make these videos. So let's get started. Below is a shot of everything that I use to make a shave video in terms of equipment. I will give you all of the information on the equipment and where to get it and what it costs. I'm totally addicted to making shave videos:


First thing you will need is a mount and the one you see below you can get at Walmart for $20 U.S. Dollars. And it's been an exceptional mount with no issues:


It does come with adhesive backed metal plates that can be installed inside your phone's outer casing. I prefer just to go ahead to put the adhesive metal plate on the back up my phone since there's a 90% chance that they won't be reselling this phone when it comes time to upgrade. It did fall on me once and the only reason it did was because I did not take the time to wet the suction cup of the mount itself. Other than that one time while I was in the shower, it never falls:


The magnet is extremely strong and isn't going any where at all. In fact you have to use some strength to remove the phone from the magnet. You will definitely be able to tell and feel the power of the magnet. Trust me when I say that your phone isn't going any where unless the entire mount comes off:


Now for those who want to upload videos using memory cards, I have the perfect tool for you to use and it's extremely easy to do. Here's the link to this device but I do recommend spending the extra money for the better quality versions as mine isn't too good but it does still work: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PKZ0NZM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 :


You simply plug this device into your phone as shown below, select the "my files" option and then go down to the camera app that you used to record the video and select it. Then you highlight your video and hit the options button and hit copy. You will then be asked where you want to copy it to which is called "USB drive". That's where I copied the video to and I created a file name that uses the same name as my camera app to make it easier to find. You see when you plug this device into your phone with a micro SD card, all of your BASIC data is copied except for photos and videos. After you select which ones you want to copy, you can then simply remove the memory device and insert the memory device (memorycard, thumb drive etc.) into a computer or laptop and upload that way:


Now this device can use full size memory cards, micro SD cards, and USB thumb drives, but the model I have doesn't work to well at all with the full size memory cards and thumb drives but it does fine with micro SD cards. The thumb drive fits okay but I didn't get any results with it. And the full size memory card does NOT fit very well at all. Now there are adapters out there for those of you that use I Phones and I Pads plus there also some that are specifically made for those devices:


Audio is very important, but it can get expensive really quick as well and I have watched a ton of videos about this specific subject matter and have determined that more expensive is NOT always better. Rhode Microphones does make a smart phone microphone and they start at $60 U.S. Dollars for there lowest model. That is the best microphone you can get in terms build quality. However, the lapel microphone that you see below has beaten some of the best and most expensive microphones on the market today including Rhode Microphones themselves in terms of audio quality. You have seen and heard my videos both with and without this microphone and it does make a huge difference in the audio. Here's the link to this microphone: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074KJ1N3D/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 :


^ Not bad at all for $10 U.S. Dollars. The build quality isn't too good at all and the clip can break real easily but that's okay because I can always use a zip tie and if need be, I can always hot glue it to something if I need to clip it in place. Most of the time, I just plug it into my phone and let it hang down when I record:


Now that pretty much covers the equipment part of the equation. Now for the video recording and digital camera apps. Your smart phone does come with a very nice camera app but if you want a really good one that's extremely easy to use and does NOT contain a ton of ads, then I highly recommend the open camera app which can be seen below and here's the link to that app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.sourceforge.opencamera :


^ It's free and as I stated earlier, contains zero ads. And if you don't want to use a memory card to upload photos or videos, no problem. You can upload it to ANY social media app provided the videos aren't too long. Instagram has been the only social media app that I haven't been able to upload videos to because they are too long but I can go live and there would not be an issue except I have to use a different camera app which I don't like but photos and short videos are no problem. No issues so far on Twitter but I use strictly YouTube for the other platforms including face book. If you don't mind using video editing software and/or paying for a subscription to upload them in full HD, then this app is the best period and is extremely easy to use hands down: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cyberlink.powerdirector.DRA140225_01 :  It's alright and pretty simple to use, but it does have ads unless you get the full version and to be able to use the full HD option, you have to subscribe which I find to be ridiculous. Another thing that annoys me is the fact that you will see the app logo in the bottom right hand corner of all of your videos if you use this app to make them. It's plug and play and uses your phone's primary camera app. Uploading videos to YouTube is stupid slow and it's even slower to transfer it to a memory card using this app. That is one of the many reasons why I chose to get rid of it. But if you want to record 2 seperate videos and place them in one YouTube video, this app will definitely be a life saver for sure which I have used and done before. That's currently what I use to make YouTube videos with. I hope this helps answer some questions and makes things easier for you especially new guys whom are getting into the hobby. Take care and have a great night ladies and gentlemen.



Feather + Leaf Razor = ?

Things just got extremely interesting folks. My friend Ken surfs got a request to use a Feather DE blade in the Leaf razor. I also got asked about it repeatedly in the various face book groups out there and I was also asked. So I went ahead and installed a fresh Feather blade in the top 2 slots of the Leaf razor. So tomorrow's shave just got extremely interesting to say the least:


So you guys know that I'm not pulling your leg, here's a close up:


And yeah it got the top hide of my finger while loading the blade. It wasn't even deep enough to consider it to be a cut and yet it bled this much. You can use your imagination as to how much blood it would have produced if the blade went extremely deep. That is why I don't use straight razors. One good swipe with shaky hands and ugly would not do it justice:


^ I will include a link to this blog post in tomorrow's shave video in the description on YouTube. Plus this combo is getting a real acid test. As of tomorrow, I will have 4 days worth of beard growth. So like I said earlier, tomorrow's shave will for sure be extremely interesting. I was told by someone that this razor really tones down the Feather blades into a comfortable shave. I already know that it will be close because of the Feather blade. It's the sharpest blade you can get. The only other blades that even come close to Feather is the Bolzano Superinox and the Perma-Sharps.

A Video App Test?

Today while producing my last shave video using the app below, I noticed that it would NOT let me upload in full 1080P HD without paying a full subscription fee. That is totally unacceptable and here's why. If I was to use my Nikon B500 digital camera to make videos, it costs me NOTHING to upload a video in full 1080P HD. I have also uploaded a video directly from the open camera app in full 1080P HD for nothing as well. My test is to see if I can transfer the video file from the open camera app directly to the memory card and upload my next shave video that way. If it works, then I won't use the app you see below. I still may have to leave it on the phone though because it did put a "pause button" in the open camera app that I have been using:


I can't justify paying a ridiculous subscription fee to be able to upload in 1080P using the app shown above when I already have that ability with another app and with another device. If this test works and I have no reason to believe that it would not work. So this coming Wednesday will be very interesting in the video recording department.




YouTube Videos With Smartphones Revised:

I saw a video from a friend's YouTube channel today and it was very sad to see it. His computer equipment is failing that he uses to ma...