We present a powerful approach towards full understanding of laser light propagation through multimode optical fibres and control of the light at the fibre output. Transmission of light within a multimode fibre introduces randomization of laser beam amplitude, phase and polarization. We discuss the importance of each of these factors and introduce an experimental geometry allowing full analysis of the light transmission through the multimode fibre and subsequent beam-shaping using a single spatial light modulator. We show that using this approach one can generate an arbitrary output optical field within the accessible field of view and range of spatial frequencies given by fibre core diameter and numerical aperture, respectively, that contains over 80% of the total available power. We present applications of these approaches in biophotonics and imaging. We show the confinement and manipulation of a number of microparticles using the output field of the multimode fibre. We demonstrate the modalities of bright-field and dark-field imaging and scanning fluorescence microscopy at acquisition rates allowing observation of dynamic processes such as Brownian motion of mesoscopic particles. Furthermore, we show how such control can realise a new form of mode converter and generate various types of advanced light fields such as propagation-invariant beams and optical vortices. These may be useful for future fibre based implementations of super-resolution or light sheet microscopy.