In Tinseltown, things aren’t often what it seems but according to the photographer who shot a naked Bret Michaels for the October 2 cover of Billboard, the rocker’s ripped abs were 100% the real deal.
"When he took off his shirt, I was like, 'This guy's in shape for 47!'" says photographer Blair Bunting. "It's always easy for someone to cry 'Photoshop,' so I wasn't too surprised by that...but he takes his shape seriously." On Billboard’s website, they did a side by side comparison of the retouched and untouched images.
Since the cover hit, there was a lot of speculation about Bret’s impressive physique- rumors Bunting nixes.
While Billboard photo editor Amelia Halverson admits there were a few versions of the cover that heavily Photoshopped Michael’s body, she adds that they “looked too unreal.” Halverson says, “The final cover version shows Bret's real muscles.
" Bunting did bronze the rocker’s skin tone and eliminated some wrinkles.
"It was a pretty standard retouching for him compared to anybody else," says Bunting. "I just don't know if he's more controversial, or if it's just more of a shocker that he took everything off and happens to have a nice body."