Respectfully, I kind of dissagree with craig. In concept I agree, but I need to be able to see the image behind the damage while I work, his correction shows the damage so much it would make it harder for me to work on the image. So, I would do the same thing, but not as much. When the major damage was gone then I would adjust the image to normal and finish.
roger, i've done it both ways and still do. it just depends on the image. sometimes 'finding the image' means removing some damage or even rebuilding areas. mostly, this one i did this way to point out some of the detail which does exist in the original. the premise is sound, find it, fix it. if you cant find it for all the damage, then yes, fix to find
but i'm also something of a clone hound and all the now-heightened scratches dont bother me and by bringing out the detail this way first, it makes cloning easier since there is more detail to draw from.