It is widely spread that microorganisms can harvest energy from sun light to establish electrochemical potential across cell membrane by pumping protons outward. Light driven proton pumping against a transmembrane gradient entails exquisite electronic and conformational reconfiguration at fs to ms time scales. However, transient molecular events along the photocycle of bacteriorhodopsin are difficult to comprehend from noisy electron density maps obtained from multiple experiments when the intermediate populations coexist and evolve as a function of 13 decades of time. Here I report an in-depth meta-analysis of the recent time-resolved datasets collected by several consortiums. This analysis deconvolutes the observed mixtures, thus substantially improves the quality of the electron density maps, and provides a clear visualization of the isolated intermediates from I to M. The primary photoproducts revealed here suggest a proton transfer uphill against 15 pH units is accomplished by the same physics that governs the tablecloth trick. While the Schiff base is displaced at the beginning of the photoisomerization within ~30 fs, the proton stays due to its inertia. This affinity-independent early deprotonation builds up a steep proton concentration gradient that drives the directional proton conductance toward the extracellular medium. This mechanism fundamentally deviates from the widely adopted assumption based on equilibrium processes driven by light-induced changes of proton affinities. The method of a numerical resolution of concurrent events from mixed observations is also generally applicable.