Interview with photographer Kari Stendahl

We are very happy that Kari Stendahl (aka Stella1302) has agreed on taking part in an interview for the Levadeiros of Madeira. Kari is a photographer from Helsinki, Finland

Madeira Island
Madeira Island

Kari, first of all we want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with the readers of Levadeiros of Madeira. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into photography?
I live in Helsinki, Finland and I retired about a year ago. Photography has been my hobby over 40 years.

Do you work as a professional photographer or is photography mainly a hobby for you?
When I purchased a digital camera about 10 years ago, my hobby became more active. Now that I’m retired, I have plenty of time for photography, but I´m an amateur photographer.

“I have been in Madeira so many times and I’ve been satisfied with my previous visit to the beautiful island”

We see on your Flickr stream that you have a very big collection of Madeira images, captured by your photo camera. Can you describe Madeira in just only one word?

How many times have you visited Madeira Island? And when was the first time?
I have visited Madeira more than 10 times. First time was about 15 years ago.

The first time you visited Madeira, what was the reason for your visit?
Perhaps the reason for the first visit to Madeira was the desire to find an alternative to the Canary Islands. At that time I didn´t know much about Madeira.

After discovering the island through your eyes and camera-lens, what would be your reason to visit it again?
It is easy to come back to a familiar place where you feel comfortable. I have been in Madeira so many times and I’ve been satisfied with my previous visit to the beautiful island.

Madeira Island
Funchal beach 2009

We say that Madeira Island is an excellent destination for photographers. Do you agree? If so, why?
Yes, I agree. I walk a lot and Madeira gives a good opportunity for this. And I always have a camera with me in my backpack, so I can always photograph if something interesting appears. This way I can enjoy both photography and walking at the same time. Preferably I walk in the countryside and in the mountains. By walking it´s time to enjoy the scenery and also easy to stop to photograph.

When is the best season (for you) to travel to Madeira Island?
I have visited Madeira during Christmas time many times. During the last couple of years I’ve been there in April-May. Any season of the year suits me well if it is cold and dark in Finland. Perhaps next time I´ll come in August or in September.

Tell us about your most favourite, and also the least favourite thing about Madeira.
The climate in Madeira is just good for me. The climate throughout the year in Madeira is similar to the climate in Finland in the summer. Of course, in the summer the weather is warmer in Madeira than in Finland.
The Portuguese language is too difficult for me, and sometimes this might lead to some problems. But this is my fault.

Madeira Island
Festa da Flor 2013

What is the first thing you recommend people to do when they arrive in Madeira?
Maybe I would advise people to leave the hotel area and go to the center of Funchal, maybe to take a bus and go to the countryside or to the mountains. Madeira has very good and cheap public transport. I love those old Volvo country buses.

Can you compare your Madeira photo collection with the other photo collections on your Flickr stream?
I follow some of the Madeira Flickr photo collections, especially made by the local photographers. They have a broader view of the island as ordinary tourists like me. These collections also provide me information about what´s happening in Madeira during the year.

What do you think of the locals/people from Madeira?
They are very friendly and hard-working people

More of Kari photos can be found at