Saliency extraction has become a popular topic in imaging science. One of the challenges in image saliency extraction is to detect the saliency content efficiently with a full-resolution saliency map. Traditional methods only involve computer calculation and thus result in limitations in computational speed. An optical imaging system-based visual saliency extraction method is developed to solve this problem. The optical system is built by effectively implementing an optical Fourier process with a Fourier lens to form two frequency planes for further operation. The proposed method combines optical components and computer calculations and mainly relies on frequency selection with precise pinholes on the frequency planes to efficiently produce a saliency map. Comparison shows that the method is suitable for extracting salient information and operates in real time to generate a full-resolution saliency map with good boundaries.